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RS polls: Tamil Nadu scene heats up
May 17, 2007 13:04 IST
A keen contest is on the cards for the sixth seat in the biennial election to fill up six Rajya Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu, scheduled for June 15.
Neither the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which has a combined strength of 165 members in the 234-member assembly, nor the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam -- with 66 seats, including six Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members -- are in a position to win the sixth seat.
A minimum of 34 votes are required to elect a member to the upper House of Parliament and both the AIADMK and the DMK-led allies fall short by two members.
The AIADMK could have romped home easily had the two members of legislative assemblies of the Dalit Panthers of India not walked out from the AIADMK-led alliance.
The party's strength in the House recently came down to 60 when S V Shanmugam, representing Madurai west, died recently.
He, however, would not have been a source of strength as he had rebelled against the party leadership and openly supported the DMK.
Even if the lone Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam's member, actor Vijayakanth, joins hands with one party or the other, they would still require one more vote to win the sixth seat.
The ruling DMK, however, is in an advantageous position as, in the event of second preferential vote, it would win the sixth seat comfortably.
It would be interesting to note whether there would be any cross-voting among the allies of the DMK.