DMK announces candidates for Rajya Sabha

The main opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Sunday announced the candidates for Rajya Sabha, which include party strongman ‘Tiruchi’ Siva being renominated for the March 26 polls.

‘Anthiyur’ Selvaraj and N R Elango are the other two candidates to contest in the polls, party president M K Stalin said in a statement in Chennai.

It may be recalled that Selvaraj was once indicted by former party president and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for taking part in a fire-walking ceremony.

While Siva, whose tenure ends on April 2 was renominated for a third term, the party gave seat to N R Elango, party’s legal eagle, and ‘Anthiyur’ Selvaraj from Western Tamil Nadu. Selvaraj is a former minister and a Dalit leader in the DMK.

Elections to six Rajya Sabha seats will be held on March 26. With the current strength, DMK and AIADMK can win three seats on their own. Siva is a prominent leader of the party and its floor leader in Rajya Sabha.

Six members of Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu – Sasikala Pushpa, Vijila Sathyanath, S Muthukaruppan, AK Selvaraj (all AIADMK), Tiruchi Siva of DMK and TK Rangarajan of the CPI-M – will retire on April 2, the Election Commission had said.

As per the Election Commission’s schedule for biennial elections, the poll will be held on March 26 and counting of votes will happen on the same day.

The ruling AIADMK has 125 members (including the Speaker) in the Assembly and the DMK and its allies have 106 members (DMK 98, Congress 7 and IUML 1). Hence both the parties – AIADMK and DMK – can win three seats each.