The AIADMK has agreed to support CPM leader T K Rangarajan for a Rajya Sabha seat reaffirming an alliance with Left parties. The DMK, on the other hand, has not been able to reach an understanding with prospective ally DMDK over one seat they can win if they join forces. Of the six Rajya Sabha vacancies from Tamil Nadu, AIADMK has the numbers to return four candidates whom it named on Thursday, and enough votes to get Rangarajan re-elected (the party has 151 MLAs) The Left combine, CPM (10), CPI (8) and AIFB (1), does not have enough members. CPM state secretary G Ramakrishnan, legislature party leader A Soundararajan and whip K Balakrishnan called on CM J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday, seeking support for Rangarajan.
With less than three months for general election, this is seen as the clearest signal from Jaya on choice of partners. Addressing a press conference after AIADMK declared support, Ramakrishnan said CPM and others in the Left were in favour of an alliance with the ruling party. However, there has not been any formal discussion so far, he added.
In the opposition camp, neither DMK-led front (27) nor the DMDK has the numbers. If Congress (5) backs the DMK — as it happened last year when party chief M Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi was candidate — its nominee Tiruchi N Siva can return to Rajya Sabha.
Karunanidhi said he was not seeking Congress support, leading to the belief that he is open to giving up the seat to DMDK under a larger alliance agreement for the LS elections. But DMDK leader Vijayakant, wooed by all except AIADMK, has not responded to DMK or emissaries from smaller parties like VCK and MMK.
MDMK and BJP, unrepresented in the Assembly with no stake in the Rajya Sabha election, Thursday took the first step in formalising their alliance. MDMK general secretary Vaiko and state BJP chief Pon Radhakrishnan held discussions, though specifics will take more time as more regional parties are expected to partner them.
Admitting that the two parties did not agree on all issues, Vaiko said the priority was to oust Congress from power. The BJP is hopeful of expanding this third front by roping in DMDK and PMK, which could make the coalition a formidable contestant in a multi-cornered fight.