The contest and backroom manouvering hotted up for election to six Rajya Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu in which DMK supremo’s daughter Kanimozhi is making an all-out bid to ensure a second term.
The June 27 election seems headed for a contest in the wake of main opposition party DMDK led by actor-turned- politician Vijaykanth taking the plunge into the battle.
DMDK’s nominee A R Elangovan filed his nomination papers today, the last date for submitting nominations, as also CPI General Secretary D Raja, taking the total number of candidates in the fray to 13.
Lady luck has virtually smiled on Raja, who succeeded in enlisting the support of ruling AIADMK after calling on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who agreed to withdraw the candidature of K Thangamuthu who was nominated for the fifth seat.
Affirming AIADMK’s open support to CPI, Ministers O Panneerselvam and Natham Viswanathan flanked Raja when he filed his nomination, accompanied by CPI and CPI(M) leaders.
Raja is assured of 19 votes – CPI (8), CPI(M) (10), Forward Bloc (1), besides the surplus votes of AIADMK and is expected to gain the required 34 votes for his victory.
AIADMK is already assured of four seats with its strength of 151 members in the 234-member state assembly.
DMK with 23 MLAs, having fielded 2G scam-tainted Kanimozhi, has been engaged in hectic parleys to win the support from other parties.
DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi has kept the cards close to his chest saying “we are talking to all parties” as he has been working to ensure his daughter’s win.
However DMDK, which has also thrown its hat into the ring, has not spelt out its poll-strategy and how it would ensure the 34 votes to its candidates as the party has 29 MLAs, of which seven have been seen as dissidents.
The nominations will be taken up for scrutiny tomorrow and the last date for withdrawal is June 20.
Following is the party position in the assembly: AIADMK 151, DMDK 29, DMK 23, CPM 10, CPI 8, CONG 5, PMK 3, MMK 2, Puthiya Thamilagam 2, All India Forward Bloc 1.