A strong infight is brewing within the AIADMK as party seniors are vying for the coveted Rajya Sabha seats in the state, as elections for it was announced on Tuesday.
Confidential party sources said that the AIADMK will be sacrificing a Rajya Sabha seat for PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss as part of the Lok Sabha pre poll agreement between the AIADMK and the PMK. The AIADMK which has around 120 MLAs in the Tamil Nadu Assembly is now entitled to three MPs. It is hinted that the Chief Minister and AIADMK convenor Panneerselvam will each take one seat for the candidate of their choice.
Interestingly, AMMK leader Thanga Tamilselvan who is in touch with the AIADMK office-bearers had also expressed interest in a Rajya Sabha seat. Besides sitting Rajya Sabha MPs are also asking for a second term and are queuing up before AIADMK leaders. Prominent Rajya Sabha MP V Maithreyan, former north Chennai MP Venkatesh Babu and AIADMK advocate Manoj Pandian are also throwing their weight seeking party ticket for the upper house.
Former deputy speaker M Thambidurai and AIADMK deputy coordinator KP Munusamy, who lost the Krishnagiri Lok Sabha seat have also expressed willingness to go to Delhi and are waiting for the nod of party high command. Law Minister C Ve Shanmugham, who has heavily invested in the party organs Namadhu Amma and News J also wants the RS seat for his loyalist, adding drama to candidate selections, party headquarters sources said.
According to the Election Commission notification released on Tuesday, the term of six Rajya Sabha MPs from Tamil Nadu will expire on July 24 and the elections to the vacant posts must be completed before 22 July. Of the six MPs, four are from AIADMK (T Rathinavel, V Maithreyan, KR Arjunan and R Lakshmanan). Communist leader D Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi are others whose term is coming to an end.
The EC in a press note said that the nominations for TN will be accepted till July 8 and the counting of votes will be on July 18. The last date for withdrawal will be on July 11, the note said.