The outcome of the elections to six Rajya Sabha (RS) seats from Tamil Nadu was on expected lines, but its bigger significance — a possible re-alignment of political forces — did not go unnoticed.
The way the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) accommodated the Communist Party of India (CPI) for one RS seat, which was won by CPI national secretary D. Raja, has given strong indications that a combination of parties, led by the AIADMK and including both Left parties, could fight the Lok Sabha elections together.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) successfully managed to secure support from the Congress for its nominee, Kanimozhi’s victory, marking the likely revival of ties between the two parties, which were together for nine years till March this year.
The DMDK, which fought the last Assembly polls in the company of the AIADMK, is left isolated.
Even though the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and the Puthiya Tamizhagam, whose support was sought by the AIADMK, eventually voted for the DMK, the stated position of the two parties is that their decision was made only in the light of the present situation, leaving some scope for rapprochement with the ruling party in future.
By boycotting the RS elections, the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) has not thrown any hint which way it would go.
In the last several months, it has been saying publicly that it would never align with Dravidian parties and in the Lok Sabha polls, it would prefer to go it alone or lead a front of its own.
The outcome of the RS elections went like this: four candidates of the ruling AIADMK and one candidate each from the DMK and CPI were elected.
As there was a contest between the DMK and the DMDK for the sixth seat, the counting went to the second round and after adopting the process of elimination, Ms. Kanimozhi was declared winner, defeating the DMDK’s A.R.Elangovan.
Three of the AIADMK candidates — K. R. Arjunan, V. Maitreyan and T. Rathinavel — polled 36 votes each and the other nominee, R. Lakshmanan, 35 votes. Mr. Raja got 34 votes and Ms. Kanimozhi – 31 votes. The loser, Mr Elangovan, got 22 votes.
The minimum number of votes to be secured was 33 votes.
Despite not securing the requisite quota, Ms. Kanimozhi was declared winner as she had higher first preference votes than Mr. Elangovan.