MMK to support Kanimozhi in Rajya Sabha polls

Chennai, June 19 (IANS) Muslim party Manithaneya Makkal Katchi’s (MMK) two legislators in the Tamil Nadu assembly would vote in favour of DMK’s Kanimozhi in the June 27 Rajya Sabha biennial elections, said a party official.

Speaking to reporters here Wednesday, MMK leader M.H. Jawahirullah said: “We met DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and expressed our support to Kanimozhi in the Rajya Sabha elections.”

DMK has 23 members and with MMK’s support, the total number of votes assured for Kanimozhi is 25.

Queried about the reason for supporting DMK after supporting AIADMK since 2011, Jawahirullah said the ruling AIADMK and the Communist Party of India (CPI) have sufficient votes to get their candidates elected and his party does not want to waste its votes.

He said the party will decide later on the alliance for the Lok Sabha elections and did not expressly say that the alliance with the AIADMK is over.

MMK fought the 2011 assembly elections in alliance with AIADMK.

A total of six Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu would retire next month. They are A. Elavarasan and V. Maitreyan from the AIADMK, Tiruchi N. Siva and Kanimozhi from the DMK, B.S. Gnanadesikan of the Congress and D. Raja of the CPI.

The candidates from AIADMK in the fray – V. Maitreyan, K.R. Arjunan, T. Rathinavel and R. Lakshmanan – had filed their nomination papers Wednesday.

AIADMK has also announced its support to CPI’s Raja.

While the AIADMK has a strength of 151 (including the speaker) in the 235-member house, the DMDK has 29 legislators, the DMK 23, CPI-M 10, CPI 8 and Congress 5.

A candidate needs 34 votes to get elected.

As per the current position, all the four AIADMK candidates and the CPI candidate are expected to romp home safely. The AIADMK is expected to increase its tally in the Rajya Sabha to seven from the current five.

The contest will be for the sixth seat between DMK’s Kanimozhi and DMDK’s Elangovan.

Kanimozhi’s election depends on the support the DMK gets from parties like the Congress and others.

It will be interesting to note the Congress’s position – whether it would support Kanimozhi or DMDK’s Elangovan.

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