The Election Commission of India has announced biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu will be held on July 18 to fill six seats that will be falling vacant by the end of that month.
Four AIADMK members, T Rathinavel, V Maitreyan, K R Arjunan and R Lakshmanan, will be retiring at the end of their six-year term on July 24 along with D Raja of the CPI. The DMK leader Kanimozhi’s Rajya Sabha seat has also fallen vacant as she has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Thoothukudi in the recent general elections.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly has 232 members who will the Rajya Sabha members. The ruling AIADMK has 123 MLAs while the DMK and its allies have 108. Given the numbers, the DMK can send up to three members to the Upper House. Reports say the Congress sought the help of its ally to elect former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu.
However, the DMK has promised one of three seats to Vaiko of the MDMK and kept the other two for itself. The Congress has only seven members in the House and so cannot field Manmohan Singh unless he is backed by the DMK. Dr Manmohan SIngh who represented Assam for two terms, is looking for another State. The Congress has enough strength in the Karnataka Assembly to get him elected just as the BJP got Nirmala Sitaraman elected from there.
The AIADMK has already promised one seat to Pattali Makkal Katchi youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss. The BJP, its ally, is also pressing for one seat as it has drawn in the Lok Sabha polls. That will leave AIADMK with two seats. Besides these four who are retiring, the AIADMK has eight members in the Rajya Sabha and one in the Lok Sabha, Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam’s son Ravindranath.