Effort for Vasan’s re-nomination to Rajya Sabha fails
Despite the offer of support extended by the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), Union Shipping Minister and senior Congress leader G.K. Vasan, whose tenure in the Rajya Sabha comes to an end in April, could not get re-nomination because the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Congress’ erstwhile ally, refused to back him.
Going by the existing composition of the Assembly, the DMDK has an effective strength of 21 MLAs and the DMK, 23 MLAs. The Congress, with only five MLAs had to depend on the DMDK and the DMK if Mr Vasan was to get elected to the Upper House. While the DMDK’s support was essential to mobilise some votes, the DMK’s cooperation had also become a necessity as the regional party had fielded Tiruchi N. Siva as its nominee.
“We approached the DMK in the hope that it would reciprocate our support to Mr. Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi's candidature. But the DMK refused to support us on the ground that such a gesture would send wrong signals when it was not interested in an alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls’’, said a senior leader of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC).
A representative of the Congress high command was said to have spoken to PMK leader and former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss seeking his party MLAs’ support.
Asked who convinced Mr. Vijayakant to support the Union Minister, the Congress leader said the actor-turned-politician had a good equation with Mr. Vasan even during the days of G.K. Moopanar. “But I do not know whether the DMDK leader will be interested in an alliance with the Congress’’, said the Congress leader.
In Tamil Nadu, both the DMK and the BJP are vying with each other to rope in Mr. Vijayakant in their alliance, but he has not indicated his mind.
Leaders of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), an ally of DMK, met Mr. Vijayakant and requested him to join the DMK alliance.
“We could not get any assurance from him on alliance. All he could say was that he might not go with the BJP’’, said a leader of the MMK.