Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday fielded five candidates for the elections to six Rajya Sabha seats.
In the 234-member State Assembly, a Rajya Sabha candidate needs 34 votes to get elected. The AIADMK, with a strength of 151 members (including the Speaker), could win four seats and was expected to seek the support of friendly parties for the fifth seat. But no other party has the required strength of even a single seat on its own.
After winning four seats, the AIADMK would have the votes of 15 more MLAs and the party needs 19 more votes to win the fifth RS seat. While the AIADMK can comfortably secure six more votes from the six DMDK rebel MLAs, the leaders of the party had already met leaders of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Puthiya Thamizhagam which have two votes each. The lone All India Forward Bloc will also go in AIADMK’s favour and in all, it has to secure eight more votes to win the fifth seat. If the CPI, which has eight MLAs, agrees to support the AIADMK candidate, the party can win the fifth seat. However, the AIADMK is not revealing its strategies. Though the strength of the DMDK is 29 in the State Assembly, the actual strength now is only 23 as six MLAs have leaned towards the AIADMK. Since the DMK too has 23 MLAs, both parties could, together, win a seat. But the DMDK is keeping silent on the issue. If the party decides to boycott the RS polls this time, it would go in favour of the AIADMK.While the DMK is trying to retain the seat for Kanimozhi by exploring all possible ways, as such, the decision of the DMDK and the CPM, which has 10 MLAs, will be vital in the current election.
Meanwhile, on the first day of filing nomination, no one came forward to file the papers. The last date for filing nomination is June 17.