It will work if DMK and DMDK fail to come together

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s advice to the CPI to contest for the sixth seat in the biennial election to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu is not without significance.

Contrary to the perception that she had shut the doors on the Left by fielding five AIADMK candidates for six seats, political observers sense a clever strategy by which she can ensure the victory of a CPI candidate as well as of her party’s nominees.

The strategy, however, depends on the DMK and the DMDK not coming together for Rajya Sabha polls.

“In the absence of coordination between DMK and DMDK, Ms. Jayalalithaa can ensure the victory of all her five candidates and a CPI candidate by dividing the 180 MLAs in her fold [including 18 Left MLAs) equally to back all the six candidates. I think it is a master stroke,” said T.S.R. Venkataramanan, a noted lawyer and former Congress MLA.

The AIADMK has 151 votes. When the votes of its allies and the six dissident DMDK MLAs are included, the number will increase to 162. By bringing together the CPI and the CPI (M), which have 18 votes, she can raise the bloc’s strength to 180. Her numbers are likely to go up as some more DMDK MLAs, including K. Pandiarajan, elected from Virudhunagar constituency, are prepared to switch loyalty.

Mr. Venkataramanan, who had worked as an election agent for Jayanthi Natarajan in a Rajya Sabha poll in the 1980s, said there was no hard and fast rule that every candidate should get 34 votes. “You have to get the maximum number of votes to get elected. If six candidates get 30 each, they will be declared elected. It will not happen if the DMK and the DMDK work together,” he said.

The DMK and the DMDK seemed to have got the wind of Ms. Jayalalithaa’s strategy.

“I hope our leader will not allow this to happen. I expect him to take an appropriate decision that will prevent the AIADMK from having a cakewalk in the RS polls,” a senior DMDK MLA said.

He said if the expected crossover of more DMDK legislators took place, he would certainly make a gesture towards the DMK. “Anyway, let us wait for a few days,” he added.

Though the DMK was keen on contesting the elections, it is not sure of support from the actor-turned-politician.

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