Why AIADMK delayed list for RS poll?

Chennai : AIADMK has named former minister and party senior C Ve Shanmugham and former district secretary R Dharmar as the two candidates for the upcoming biennial Rajya Sabha elections. The AIADMK has 66 seats in the TN legislative assembly and will easily sail through the election for which the nominations have already started. The election for the six vacant posts is to be held on June 10. Shanmugham is a strong rooted politician based in Villupuram and Dharmar had served the AIADMK as Ramanathapuram district secretary.

The filing of nominations for the June 10 biennial elections to fill six Rajya Sabha seats from the Tamilnadu Assembly that would fall vacant on June 29, began on Tuesday with the issuing of the notification. The notification was issued by State Legislative Assembly Secretary and Returning Officer K.Srinivasan. The last date for filing of nominations is May 31 and the scrutiny will take place the next day (1 June). The last date for withdrawal is June 3 and the polling, if necessary, will be held on June 10 from 9 am to 4 pm. The Counting of votes will be taken up on June 10 and the election process shall be completed on June 13.

The ruling DMK, which could easily win four of the six seats, announced its candidates for three seats, while allotting the other seat to its ally, Congress. Tamilnadu Chief Minister and DMK President M.K.Stalin had announced that party Legal Wing Secretary R.Girirajan, Thanjavur North District Unit Secretary S.Shanmugasundaram and Namakkal East Unit District Secretary KRN Rajesh Kumar as the DMK candidates for the RS polls. Rajesh Kumar has been re-nominated for the second time. The DMK and its allies, which has a combined strength of 159 MLAs in the 234-member Assembly, can easily win four seats and the main Opposition AIADMK (75 MLAs) has enough strength to win the remaining two seats.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s close aide V K Sasikala described the AIADMK under present leadership as a “weak opposition”, in a fresh bid to take over the party’s reigns from former chief ministers Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam. She also launched a tirade against the DMK government over several issues including the state’s sour relationship with the union government. She said Palaniswami, the AIADMK joint coordinator, and Panneerselvam, party coordinator, led party is a “weak opposition”. She asserted that the main opposition party will “soon function under her leadership”. How long will they (DMK) keep yapping against the union government? It’s been a year since they came to power and they have been fighting with the union government. They need to implement and execute projects. Only people are suffering because of this,” she said while criticising the media present there for not asking her questions on governance. Sasikala said only a few in the AIADMK are against her return while many are speaking to her and that soon Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party will function under her leadership. “Not everyone speaks against me. Only a few. They might be making such remarks perhaps in the expectation of a party post. Also, only the party cadre decides who should be the leader of the party and the norm was established by Thalaivar (AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran),” she said. “People say they never functioned as an opposition party and hence the cadre are expecting me to lead the party.”