Supporters of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam have already reached out to the party leaders for the coveted Rajya Sabha posts. AIADMK which has 125 MLAs, including the Speaker in the Assembly can elect three Rajya Sabha members.
The EC on Tuesday announced that polling for 55 Rajya Sabha seats set to be vacated in April will be held on March 26. A copy of the notification said six seats in the will become vacant and voting will be conducted between 9 am to 4 pm on March 26. The counting of votes will take place at 5 pm on the same day, the notification read.
According to ruling party insiders, former Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai and party joint convenor KP Munusamy are in the fray lobbying for the posts. Founder of new justice party AC Shanmugham who unsuccessfully contested in the recent Vellore Lok Sabha polls in AIADMK alliance is also pitching in for the RS post.
Those retiring in the AIADMK, include K Selvaraj, S Muthu Karuppan and Vijila Sathyananth and rebel Sasikala Pushpa, who recently joined the BJP. A few former and sitting MPs are also asking for a term, but the party leaders are tight lipped on the development, sources said.
Names of senior AIADMK functionaries, including JCD Prabhakar, Gokula Indira, N Balaganga are also making rounds among the party circles as probable candidates for the upcoming mayor and MP elections. The party during the previous Rajya Sabha polls, gave away the tickets to low profile Mohammad John and N Chandrasekhar. The announcement by the party leaders Palaniswami and Panneerselvam came as a surprise to many in the party as former MPs, Thambidurai and V Maitreyan names were rejected by the AIADMK leaders.
“The party headquarters is likely to announce the candidate by the first week of March and this time there will not be much surprises,” said a party senior. As the newly elected MP will have six full years as tenure, there is strong recommendation pouring in from all the districts, the source added.