Competition is fierce in the AIADMK, with a long list of contenders vying for two Rajya Sabha seats.

 Advocate Wilson trade union leader Shanmugam are DMKs picks for Rajya Sabha
news Politics Monday, July 01, 2019 - 13:26

DMK President MK Stalin has nominated advocate P Wilson and M Shanmugam, General Secretary of the party's Labour Progressive Front (LPF) for the ensuing Rajya Sabha polls to be held on July 18. As per the pre-poll agreement, the third seat will be given to MDMK chief Vaiko. 

AIADMK MPs T Rathinavel, V Maitreyan, KR Arjunan and R Lakshmanan will be retiring from their six-year term on July 24 along with D Raja of the CPI. DMK’s Kanimozhi was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Thoothukudi Parliamentary constituency in the recently-held Lok Sabha Elections and her seat too is up for polls. And with the DMK's current MLA tally rising upto 108, they will be filling a total of three seats in the Rajya Sabha. 

Vaiko will be making a re-entry into Parliament after a 15-year hiatus. His last term in Lok Sabha was between 1999 and 2004 as a member of the DMK-BJP alliance. 

LPF leader Shanmugam, according to party sources, was a natural choice. He has heralded several labour related issues including the recent trade union unrest in Yamaha and Royal Enfield factories. 

"He has been instrumental in maintaining the Kolathur constituency and represents a large chunk of trade unions. He keeps a low profile but his contribution is very significant," says a DMK source. 

The fight for the second seat was initially between advocates NR Elango and P Wilson, say sources. 

Elango was appointed secretary of headquarters (election committee) before the elections and led the party's political war room. His legal wing with 25 members is reportedly the strongest within the party.

Wilson, meanwhile, is credited with some of DMK's most important legal victories including the recent tussle over the burial plot following former DMK Chief M Karunanidhi's death. 

"Elango is very close to the top leaders and advisors," says the DMK source. "But the party has rewarded Wilson for the victories," he adds. 

In the AIADMK, meanwhile, the list of contenders is longer and the competition more fierce for three seats. However, as per its seat-sharing agreement prior to the Lok Sabha Elections, the AIADMK will have to give one Rajya Sabha seat to the PMK, leaving two for the ruling party.

Amongst those eyeing a Rajya Sabha seat are Former Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha M Thambidurai and former TN Minister Natham R Viswanathan. Others in the race are former Minister KP Munusamy, Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan, former ministers S Gokula Indira, N Thalavai Sundaram and former MP A Anwhar Raajhaa.

The party is yet to make an announcement over their final nominations.



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