DMK lawyer enters RS polls as dummy candidate for Vaiko

Vaiko

With uncertainty over acceptance of MDMK chief Vaiko’s nomination in the light of his conviction in a sedition case, the DMK on Monday allowed one of its senior lawyers, N R Elango, to file nomination as the fourth candidate to contest the biennial elections to Rajya Sabha to ensure that the seat does not go vacant.

The move is to ensure Elango’s election as Rajya Sabha member in the event of the Returning Officer (RO) rejecting Vaiko’s nomination citing the 1-year jail term awarded to the firebrand MDMK chief in a 2009 sedition case for his “anti-Centre” comments.

Elango, one of the senior-most lawyers in the DMK hierarchy, filed nominations on Monday on the last day of filing of nominations to elect six members to Rajya Sabha. While the AIADMK will contest two and its ally PMK one, the DMK decided to contest two and allot one to Vaiko.

DMK sources explained that since there was uncertainty over Vaiko’s nomination it was decided to make Elango file papers to ensure that the seat does not go vacant. “Elango was one of the frontrunners for the post but his colleagues P Wilson and K Shanmugham piped him for a variety of reasons and due to DMK’s promise to Vaiko of giving him a Rajya Sabha seat,” a senior leader told DH.

Vaiko was sentenced to 1-year imprisonment in a 2009 sedition case on Friday. Though several experts said conviction under sedition act does not count for disqualification, the sources DMK was unwilling to take any chances.

As speculation mounted on the issue, Vaiko clarified that it was he who suggested to DMK President M K Stalin to make “other arrangements” in case his nomination was rejected. Vaiko also said the seat was offered to him and not to the MDMK.

“It was me who told Stalin to field a fourth candidate. And the fourth candidate will be from DMK because the Rajya Sabha seat was offered only to me and not to the MDMK. Stalin was keen on sending me to Rajya Sabha,” Vaiko told reporters in Dindigul.

 

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