The DMK went into overdrive on Wednesday to mobilise support for Kanimozhi who has been re-nominated as the party’s candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu.
In the first round, the party, which has 23 MLAs in the Assembly, had succeeded in getting the support of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), which has two MLAs, thus taking its support base to 25.
DMK parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu met UPA chairperson and AICC president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Wednesday and sought the votes of five Congress MLAs.
However, he did not get any commitment from the Congress leader as the party is said to be in favour of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam led by actor Vijayakant. Besides, many senior Congress Ministers and leaders from Tamil Nadu have taken a stand against the DMK.
In Chennai, DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin, senior leaders Duraimurugan and S. Jagathratchagan met Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss. The PMK has three MLAs.
DMK leaders also established contact with Puthiya Tamizhagam (PT) leader K. Krishnasamy, who is one of his party’s two MLAs. “We have to consult our party men before announcing our decision,” Dr. Krishnasamy said.
MMK MLA M.H. Jawahirullah said his party decided to support the DMK because the AIADMK and the CPI had adequate numbers to win all the five seats they are contesting.
“Moreover, the AIADMK government failed to consider many of our demands,” MMK MLA M.H. Jawahirullah told The Hindu after meeting DMK leader M. Karunanidhi.
“We wanted the AIADMK government to raise the reservation for the Muslism from 3.5 per cent. We wanted it to recognise marriages registered with Jamaats instead of re-registering them before government authorities. But there was no concrete reply from Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s representatives,” Prof Jawahiruallh said.
Another important demand by the MMK was the release of Muslim prisoners who had spent 10 years in jail. The party also wanted Urdu to be taught as a language in school.
Asked whether his party expected anything from the DMK in return for its support to the DMK candidate, Prof Jawahirullah said such issues were not discussed. He said though the MMK was part of the AIADMK alliance in the 2011 Assembly polls, his party was not accommodated in the alliance during the local body polls and cooperative elections.