Two new faces in DMK list for RS polls; Cong gets one seat

Victory of the DMK and the lone Congress candidate should be a mere formality given the strength of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance (159 MLAs) in the 234-member House. The opposition AIADMK with 66 MLAs on its own and five MLAs of PMK and four MLAs of the BJP should comfortably win the remaining two seats.
Two new faces in DMK list for RS polls; Cong gets one seat
Representative image

CHENNAI: The ruling DMK on Sunday announced its candidates for the June 10 biennial Rajya Sabha election. The DMK has apportioned one seat to its ally Congress.

In a statement issued on Sunday evening, Chief Minister and DMK president M K Stalin announced Thanjavur north district secretary S Kalayanasundaram, joint secretary of the party legal wing R Girirajan and sitting MP-cum-Namakkal district in-charge KRN Rajeshkumar as candidates for the election, which has been necessitated by the expiry of the tenure of incumbent MPs TKS Elangovan, RS Bharathi and KRN Rajeshkumar of the DMK and three members of the AIADMK.

Victory of the DMK and the lone Congress candidate should be a mere formality given the strength of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance (159 MLAs) in the 234-member House. The opposition AIADMK with 66 MLAs on its own and five MLAs of PMK and four MLAs of the BJP should comfortably win the remaining two seats.

Though the last date for filing of nominations (May 31) is at least over a fortnight away, the DMK leadership has chosen to announce its candidates, ostensibly, to avoid pressure from within the party ranks, where hectic lobbying has just begun, and to keep a few ambitious allies at bay. If sources in the party are to be believed, the DMK has shown haste after sensing that it could face pressure from one of its Communist allies shortly.

The AIADMK with 66 MLAs on its own and five MLAs of PMK and four MLAs of the BJP should comfortably win the remaining two seats.

DMK rewards loyalty, tireless party work with RS nominations

The choice of candidates also suggests that the DMK high command has chosen to overlook two of its seniors RS Bharathi and TKS Elangovan for renomination to the Upper House of the Parliament. Also, the candidature of Kalayanasundaram has demonstrated the political calculation behind DMK’s candidate selection.

In picking old horse Kalayanasundaram, who was considered a confidant of deceased DMK heavyweight KoSi Mani, Stalin has rewarded loyalty and silenced critics who have been questioning the lack of representation for Delta districts, mainly Thanjavur in the state cabinet. Kalayanasundaram was denied MLA ticket in 2021 Assembly polls owing to allotment of Papanasam seat to MMK. In the same vein, the DMK has rewarded Girirajan for his tireless party work, mainly the legal assistance he provided to the party workers. Girirajan had unsuccessfully contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from North Chennai. The third candidate KRN Rajeshkumar has been retained, thanks to the backing of the party youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin at whose behest the former had secured RS tenure for a year and a half so far.

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