Move to include Vijayakant’s party in alliance for LS polls

Keen to include Vijayakant’s DMDK in its alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is inclined to offer the lone seat that the Opposition can win in the biennial Rajya Sabha polls to the DMDK.

This might placate the DMDK, which felt let down by the Congress six months ago, when its efforts to get a candidate elected failed. The Congress was initially receptive to support the DMDK, but eventually supported the DMK candidate, Kanimozhi.

As per the Commission’s notification, six members – S. Amir Ali Jinnah and Vasanthi Stanley (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), G.K. Vasan and Jayanthi Natarajan (Congress), N. Balaganga (AIADMK) and T.K. Rangarajan (Communist Party of India-Marxist) – are retiring on April 2. If required, poll will take place on February 7.

With the Election Commission notifying biennial elections to six Rajya Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu a few days ago, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-led combine, given its present strength, can ensure victory easily for five candidates. Once the elections are held, of the 18 members from the State, 11 will be from the AIADMK.

Going by the existing strength of parties , the AIADMK has 151 MLAs (including the Speaker); CPI (M) – 10; Communist Party of India – 8; Forward Bloc – 1; rebel Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam MLAs (DMDK) – 7 and the rebel Puthiya Tamizhagam – 1, totalling 178 MLAs. The DMK has 23 and its present allies, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) – 2 and the Puthiya Tamizhagam (PT) – 1, aggregating 26. The DMDK accounts for 21 MLAs, while the Congress has five MLAs, and the Pattali Makkal Katchi – three. [On paper, the DMDK and the PT have 28 and two MLAs respectively, but eight MLAs have broken ranks with their parties].

One seat remains vacant as Panruti S. Ramachandran of the DMDK, who was elected from Alandur in the 2011 Assembly election, quit the post.

In the Rajya Sabha polls in June, the AIADMK-led front got five seats with four going to the ruling party and one to the CPI. The sixth seat went to the DMK.

Given the fact that the required number of votes is 34 for a candidate to get elected in the first round, the ruling party can, this time too, have four of its nominees sailing through effortlessly. As one of the outgoing MPs is from the CPI (M), the fifth seat may be offered to this party, which remains an ally of the AIADMK.

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