The ruling party of Tamil Nadu, led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, allotted one seat to ally Tamil Maanila Congress and its chief G K Vaasan will be the candidate.
The BJP is learnt to have strongly backed the nomination of Vasan to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu where biennial election is scheduled later this month. The ruling AIADMK on Monday named him as one of the three nominees for the Upper House.
Vasan’s nomination to Rajya Sabha also fuelled speculation on his elevation to the Union Cabinet and merger of his TMC with the BJP. The former minister had also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi last year during which it is believed he was promised a RS seat.
Though Munusamy and Thambi Durai were expected to get the party nomination, what was not clear till late last week was who would get the third seat, as there were too many aspirants to fill the slot. In this regard, the party leadership was under enormous pressure from various quarters.
It is said Munusamy was the choice of Panneerselvam, while Thambidurai had the backing of Palaniswami. On April 2, six Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu will retire and the DMK days ago named three nominees including its sitting MP in the upper house, ‘Tiruchy’ Siva.
Based on the strength of the ruling party and main opposition DMK and their respective allies in the Assembly, all the six candidates are likely to be elected unopposed.