As she has decided to go it alone in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday closed the door on the CPI which sought her support to elect its candidate to the Rajya Sabha. She named five AIADMK candidates for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha polls. Six vacancies are to be filled in this month’s biennial election.
But the moot point is whether her decision will bring together the Opposition parties, which have a combined strength of 72 members in the Assembly. Except the ruling AIADMK, none of the political parties has the strength to elect a candidate on its own to the Rajya Sabha. If these parties come together, the Opposition can make it difficult for the fifth AIADMK candidate to get elected if there are seven candidates in the fray for the six seats.
However, right now, it seems a very distant possibility as more legislators of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, led by actor Vijayakant, are expected to switch their loyalties to the ruling party.
The AIADMK is comfortably positioned to win four of the six seats, but will be short of eight seats to elect the fifth member. A candidate needs 34 votes to win a seat.
The CPI had hoped that Ms Jayalalithaa would field only four candidates and would offer the AIADMK’s extra votes to its candidate. CPI general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy, former general secretary A.B. Bardhan and national council secretary D. Raja, who sought re-nomination, were in Chennai recently, but could not get an appointment to meet her. Finally Mr Bardhan and Mr. Sudhakar Reddy met her at Delhi, but she had expressed her inability to support the CPI. She is said to have suggested to the CPI leadership that it could field its candidate for the sixth seat. The CPI has only eight members and its support will swell to 18, if the CPI(M)’s 10 seats are added.
“Our stand on the RS polls will be taken when the State committee of the party meets on June 17,” CPI (M) state secretary G. Ramakrishnan told The Hindu.
In the past, the CPI(M) has worked together with actor Vijayakant’s DMDK, which has 29 members in the Assembly. However, six dissident members are expected to vote for the AIADMK.
Mr. Vijayakant has so far not disclosed his stand on the RS polls and there is speculation that he may support a Left candidate.
The DMK is also hoping to get the support from the actor-turned-politician, who is going through a political crisis. “But he is not approachable. He is also not creating any situation for us to send feelers,” said a DMK leader.
DMK’s former ally Congress has five members and it may not hesitate to vote for a DMK nominee. The PMK has a strength of three in the Assembly, but the party is likely to boycott the elections.