CPI’s Raja to file nomination for RS seat today

Draja_PTI.jpg

Chennai: With just a day left for the filing of nominations to the biennial polls of June 27 for six Rajya Sab­ha seats, there was high drama in the state capital on Sunday. CPI’s incumbent upper house member D.Raja being nomina­ted for a second succes­s­ive term was expected.
What set political circles alight was the rumour that the Congress party, which was earlier expected to support its estranged ally DMK, might swing in favour of Vijayakanth’s DMDK. There were also whispers about AIADMK withdrawing its fifth candidate so as to ensure a smooth ride for its ally CPI and about DMK trying to lure a few DMDK members. 
Expect twists in Rajya Sabha polls
S. Sasidharan | DC 
Chennai: With just a day left for the filing of nominations to the biennial polls of June 27 for six Rajya Sabha seats, there was high drama in the state capital on Sunday. CPI’s incumbent upper house member D. Raja being nominated for a second successive term was expected. What set political circles alight was the rumour that the Congress party, which was earlier expected to support its estranged ally DMK, might swing in favour of Vijayakanth’s DMDK.
 
There were also whispers about AIADMK withdrawing its fifth candidate so as to ensure a smooth ride for its ally CPI and about DMK trying to lure a few DMDK members. With the filing of nominations drawing to close on Monday it is almost certain the state will go to polls for Rajya Sabha seats after a gap of 17 years.
 
A hectic Sunday for political parties started with CPI’s general secretary Sudhakar Reddy declaring their party’s candidate officially in a packed press conference. He was seated beside another ‘contender’ – D. Pandian, party’s state general secretary. However, Pandian later ended all speculation clarifying his name never came up for discussion at party’s high-level meetings. 
 
DMK (with 23 MLAs) received a jolt just a day after nominating Kani­mozhi as its candidate.  At an urgently convened executive meeting, DMDK decided to field a candidate seeking a maiden entry into RS leaving Kani­mozhi’s fate uncertain. Earlier, there had been reason to believe that DMDK would align with DMK. 
 
“Almost all the MLAs and district secretaries have voiced their support in fielding a candidate for the RS polls,” said a senior DMDK member. Asked about their chances against the background of their being short of the numbers to elect an MP, he asked, “While DMK that has less number than us is contesting in the polls, what’s wrong in DMDK contesting the polls?” 
 
However, the grapevine has it that this election could throw more surprises as cross voting is a distinct possibility. DMK’s chances look bleak as DMDK may have turned its back on it. 
In all, while AIADMK has 151 MLAs besides the support of seven DMDK rebel members, the left parties have 18 members.
 
AIADMK could easily win four seats. It could also elect two more members if DMDK doesn’t align with DMK. However, if DMDK fields a candidate it would play spoilsport for Kanimozhi thereby ensuring safe passage for 5 AIADMK members and a CPI nominee.  The fate of DMK largely rides upon ‘Captain’s decision which will be announced today. 

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