CPI's Raja to file nomination for RS seat tomorrow
Undaunted by refusal of support by the ruling AIADMK for its candidate in the June 27 biennial election to six Rajya Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, the CPI today decided to field its sitting MP D Raja.
Raja would file his nomination papers tomorrow, before the deadline for submitting candidature ends, CPI All India General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy told a press conference here.
Reddy spiked reports in a section of the press that Raja has filed his nomination papers remarking "how can it happen. Today is Sunday. He (Raja) is preparing his nomination papers. Raja will file them tomorrow before 3 PM".
Though the Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa expressed her party's inability to support CPI nominee Raja, the party's Central Secretariat decided to contest the election, Reddy said.
CPI held its state executive here yesterday at which the issue of entering the RS poll fray and field Raja was endorsed, he said.
Reddy said CPI hoped that those parties who are not contesting the election and those who have surplus votes will support Raja candidature.
AIADMK by contesting five of the six seats has upset the calculations of CPI, which had earlier banked on the ruling dispensation support to Raja, for another term.
Reddy sought to duck a query on whether CPI would approach DMDK leader Vijayakanth for support to its candidate and said, "we welcome anybody to give votes. But at the moment, we do not have such plan to meet the DMDK leader".
DMK has already nominated its candidate Kanimozhi and has also been making efforts to lure other parties to ensure her victory for a second successive term.
DMDK has so far not decided on fielding its candidate though it is the principle opposition party and is yet to announce its plans for the upcoming RS election.
Reddy said that the CPM, which has 10 MLAs, is backing Raja in the RS polls this time.
Both the Left parties have 18 seats in the state assembly and require 16 more votes to get Raja elected in the first round of counting, as each winning candidate needs 34 first preference votes to win.
AIADMK which has 150 members can win four seats with ease. However, it falls short of 20 votes for the fifth candidate, for whose victory the party has been banking on the support of other parties.
Similarly, DMK which yesterday re-nominated Kanimozhi, party patriarch M Karunanidhi daughter, is also pinning hopes on other party MLAs to ensure smooth sailing in the election.
However, its hope of getting the support of left parties for Kanimozhi has been dashed following the contest of Raja on behalf of Left parties.
DMK has 23-member strength in the assembly.
In the 234-member assembly, AIADMK has a strength of 150, DMDK 29, DMK 23, CPM 10, CPI 8, CONG 5, PMK 3, MMK 2, Pudthiya Thamilagam 2, All India Forward Bloc 1, Nom 1 and Speaker one.