With less than two months left for the elections to the Rajya Sabha vacancies in Tamil Nadu, it has finally dawned upon the CPI that it could no longer buy time for initiating talks.
Sources said the Left party, at a meeting on Friday, decided to formally approach Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa “as soon as possible” to seek the AIADMK’s support for its candidate.
A senior leader said the party had already got an assurance from the CPI(M) that they would back its candidate. “We will seek an appointment with the Chief Minister. A delegation, most probably of a national and a state leader, will meet the AIADMK supremo soon and seek her support,” said the senior functionary on condition of anonymity.
With 151 MLAs in the Assembly, the AIADMK is sure to bag four of the six vacancies that would be created to the Upper House in July. The four seats apart, the AIADMK would still be left with 17 votes and is indispensable for any party that seeks to notch up the required 34 votes. Given that the Communist parties together hold 18 members in the Assembly, the support of the AIADMK would guarantee CPI candidate victory.
But, it is still not clear if the CPI would propose the name of the incumbent D Raja, a national secretary of the party, for re-election or if it would be someone else.
Party sources said Raja remains the “strongest” candidate, given that he had become the face of the TN unit in the Rajya Sabha over the past three to four years.
Meanwhile, a highly-placed source in the DMDK, which has 29 members in the Assembly, including the six rebels, said a meeting is likely to be convened by its leader Vijayakanth to discuss the strategy to be adopted in the polls.