Congress to support Kani in RS election


Chennai: The Congress on Tuesday ended speculations and officially declared its support to the DMK in the June 27 Rajya Sabha biennial polls, a decision apparently taken with the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in mind.
Announcing the party’s decision to support DMK, state Congress president B. S. Gnanadesikan, in a statement issued Tuesday evening, said the five Congress MLAs would vote for DMK candidate  Kanimozhi. 
Cong eyes 2014 polls, backs Kani
In choosing to support the DMK in the Rajya Sa­bha polls, the Congress high command has not just ‘snubbed’ the DMDK but also ‘disregarded’ the DMK baiters in the state Congress unit. 
Obviously influenced by the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, ‘10 Janpath’ has chosen its estranged ally DMK over DMDK, which has ended up as a ‘friendless’ party in the state polity now. Curiously, the actor-politician was the preferred choice of most TNCC seniors who did not mind floating rumours that they would go with DMDK in RS polls and probably in LS polls too, notwithstanding hectic lobbying done by DMK with AICC top brass. 
An AICC senior who lobbied for the DMK admitted to the decision being influenced by LS polls and said, “The decision has opened a window for Congress (to woo DMK) for 2014. Any decision spoiling Kanimo­zhi’s chances wo­uld have shut the doors for us permanently.” 
“Even if we do not form pre-poll alliance with DMK, the decision will help woo them post polls,” the AICC senior remarked. “Together Co­n­gress and DMDK can get some votes but not many MP seats,” an AICC member quoted a Congress Union minister as saying. 
Meanwhile, a source close to Union finance minister P. Chidam­ba­r­am told DC that the minister, who was learnt to have suggested DMDK as an option to the high co­mmand earlier, had written to M. Karunanidhi to bury the hatchet a week back. And Karunanidhi had replied to it,  the source added attributing the recent animosity bet­ween his minister and DMK to ‘miscommunication’.
However, DMK se­niors said there was mo­re to it than PC not greeting Ka­r­unanidhi on the latter’s 90 birthday.
Ballot paper sent to prison for guru
S. Sasidharan | DC
Even as election authorities are gearing for June 27 biennial polls to Rajya Sabha, for the first time they have sent a ballot paper to a voter in  prison. It had been sent to Puzhal prison where PMK's strongman Kaduve­tti Guru is lodged.  And, the election authorities also held discussions with all the seven candidates in the fray regarding June 27 polls Tuesday evening.
Sources in the Assembly secretariat, which is also the office of the returning office, told DC that a postal ballot had been sent to the PMK candidate  currently lodged in Puzhal prison in connection to Marakka­nam communal clash.
“ We have sent a postal ballot to PMK legislator Kaduvetti J. Guru a few days ago. He should return it either by post or through a messenger to us before June 27,” said an official.
Asked about PMK’s abs­t­e­n­tion, the official pointed out that it was the voter who had to take the call whether he was going to ex­ercise his franchise or not. “This could be for the first time in a RS poll in the state that a postal ballot had been sent to the prison.”   
Meanwhile, all the seven candidates for RS polls in­cluding Kani­mo­zhi, D. Ra­ja, and five AIADMK candidates atten­ded a poll pre­paratory me­eting at the ch­amber of the Assembly se­­cretary and the return­in­g officer, A.M.P. Jamalu­de­en, in wh­ich state CEO and ob­ser­ver for the polls Pr­a­veen Kumar also took part.
“All candidates and th­eir age­nts were briefed ab­out po­lling procedures and met­hod of voting in the meeting,” said an official.

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