Puthiya Tamilagam too to back Kani, 7 left in RS fray - The New Indian Express

Puthiya Tamilagam too to back Kani, 7 left in RS fray

Published: 21st June 2013 08:06 AM

Last Updated: 21st June 2013 08:06 AM

The stage is now set for the Rajya Sabha polls, with seven candidates left in the fray. This will be the first time since 1996 that there is going to be a contest in Rajya Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. Even as the victory of five candidates is settled, hectic parleys continue with parties that are yet to announce which side they will support for the sixth seat. The chips continued to fall on Thursday, with Puthiya Tamilagam leader K Krishnasamy announcing that his party would support the candidature of DMK’s Kanimozhi.

None of the seven remaining candidates withdrew their nominations on Thursday, which was the last day to do so. This sets the field for a show-off between the DMK and DMDK for the lone undecided seat. With the AIADMK having enough numbers to ensure the victory of its four candidates and lend crucial support to the victory of CPI national secretary D Raja, the remaining parties are faced with picking sides with either the DMK or the DMDK.

 So far, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Puthiya Tamilagam, with two MLAs each, have offered to vote for Kanimozhi in the Rajya Sabha polls on June 27. Both parties were part of the AIADMK-led alliance, which romped to victory in the 2011 Assembly elections, and have said categorically that their decision to support Kanimozhi was solely to ensure their votes don’t go wasted.

“We have been part of the AIADMK alliance. They have enough votes to ensure the victory of their four candidates and that of comrade Raja. Now that there is no AIADMK candidate in the fray, we didn’t want to waste our vote and have decided to support Kanimozhi, as we feel she has the highest chances of victory among the remaining candidates,” Krishnasamy told reporters on Thursday, after meeting DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, Kanimozhi and other DMK leaders at the octogenarian’s residence at Gopalapuram.

Kanimozhi now has the backing of 27 MLAs (23 DMK, two MMK and two PT). The only two parties that are yet to announce whom they will support are the Congress (five MLAs) and PMK (three MLAs). If both of them choose to back her, she will make the 34 MLAs required to ensure victory. The PMK is expected to announce its decision after consultations on Friday.

The DMDK, however, is battling for breath in the battle for its first parliamentary seat. Of the 29 MLAs seats it won in the 2011 polls it has suffered the setback of seven rebels functioning as a separate pro-AIADMK bloc, leaving it with 22 confirmed MLAs. Both the DMDK and the DMK have canvassed for the support of the Congress. Unless it gets the backing of the Congress, the DMDK is faced with a situation where the possibility for its first MP is slipping away.

The Rajya Sabha election is set to be held on June 27 at the Committee Hall of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly at the Secretariat between 9 am and 4 pm.

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