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Thursday, June 27, 2013

RS Elections in Tamilnadu..... political alignments !!

Do you what brackets – Anu Aga, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Javed Akhtar, HK Dua, Dr Ashok Ganguly, B Jayashree, Mrinal Miri, Bhalchandra Mungekar, K Parasaran, Rekha and Sachin Tendulkar….. ?

There is a cliché – ‘a week in politics is too long a period’ – the Rajya Sabha electoral scene in Tamil Nadu is providing so many twists.  First there were 5 candidates from AIADMK – one each from DMK and CPI.  One of them was changed and when the deadline for withdrawal of nominations came closer, ADMK pulled out one making it a  fight between the DMK and the DMDK.  Then DMK which had walked out of Congress Govt citing Srilankan issue sought Congress support for their Ms Kanimozhi, daughter of M Karunanidhi,  facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
The Rajya Sabha (RS) or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means "state" and Sabha means "assembly" in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are nominated by the President of India for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. Members sit for six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years. The list that you read in the first para is that of nominated members in the present Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions and, unlike the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, is not subject to dissolution. The Vice President of India (currently, Hamid Ansari) is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who presides over its sessions. The Rajya Sabha held its first sitting on 13 May 1952.

The candidates are elected by the Legislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of Single transferable vote through Proportional representation. AIADMK with 151 MLAs in the 234-member assembly is certain to ensure victory of its four nominees while Raja is expected to get through with the support of the ruling party. The Left parties have 19 MLAs. With the Congress’ backing, the number of legislators in support of Kanimozhi now stands now at 32 (DMK 23, Congress 5, PT 2 and MMK 2). A candidate needs 34 votes to get elected.

A press release issued by Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary A.M.P. Jamaludeen stated that poll would take place on June 27 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m; and the results would be announced around 5 p.m. the same day. The State will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha elections after a gap of 17 years.

In February 1996, the State saw a contest when Peter Alphonse of Congress was elected to the Rajya Sabha. In the last 30 years, the polls saw two stalwarts losing the battle. In July 1983, P. Ramamurthi of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) lost to G.K. Moopanar of the Congress. In March 1984, when Ms. Jayalalithaa was elected to the House of Elders, Arcot N. Veeraswami, DMK’s second candidate and who later became Minister in the DMK government, was defeated.  That time, Cong leader Thangkabalu who should have secured 34 first preference votes got only 30 indicating cross voting.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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