The DMK may not face heat from the Congress in nominating members to Rajya Sabha next month. It seems the national party has found an opening in a northern state to send former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Upper House.
“Indeed, the second rung leaders of Congress had contacted our Parliamentary party leader TR Baalu in New Delhi a week ago in this regard. But, Baalu has categorically told a no to their plea,” the functionary said and quickly added, admitting that party president MK Stalin was also not inclined to sacrifice a RS seat to the Congress this time.
“If the Gandhi’s speak to our leader (Stalin) directly in this regard, he might concede. But we learnt that the vacancy in Rajasthan has saved us a seat now,” a highly placed DMK source revealed, before opining that the vacancy in Congress ruled northern state has spared the embarrassment for both the parties’ leadership now.
Meanwhile, at least half a dozen people in the DMK are vying for the third Rajya Sabha seat after the party apportions one to MDMK general secretary Vaiko as per poll agreement and reserves another for Labour Wing general secretary Shanmugham.
If sources in the party are to be believed, senior advocate P Wilson, who won the case for DMK to bury former chief minister M Karunanidhi on Marina, would be the favourite for the third seat.
“Of the 38 MPs in the alliance, not one is a Christian. By accommodating Wilson, the party would be nominating a member of the community and also acknowledge his legal contribution,” the source added. Curiously, it did not discourage prominent Muslim faces of the party from making a bid for the seat. Writer Manushyaputhiran, senior leader Rahman Khan and Hasan Jinnah of Thousand Lights have also established contact with their sources for a Rajya Sabha seat nomination, which attracted interest from seniors like deputy general secretary Subbulakshmi Jagadeeshan and spokesperson K Radhakrishnan.
Senior advocate NR Elango, a friend of Stalin who had unsuccessfully contested in Arakkonam in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, was also in the race for the RS seat.