All six candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections from Tamil Nadu were elected unopposed on Thursday. With no competing nominations filed, three members of the AIADMK alliance and three from the DMK alliance were declared winners by the Election Commission.
The AIADMK fielded former Minister Mohammad John and senior party functionary N Chandrasekaran while alliance partner PMK fielded former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss. The DMK’s picks were advocate P Wilson and trade union leader M Shanmugam; MDMK Chief Vaiko was given a ticket as per the pre-poll alliance with the DMK.
While elections to the Upper House were scheduled to be held on July 18, only these six candidates had filed their nomination from the state. With no contest from other candidates, they were elected unopposed on Thursday, the last date for withdrawal of nominations. The MP-elects received their winner’s certificates from Assembly Secretary K Srinivasan, who was also the Returning Officer for the elections, at the Secretariat.
Mohammad John, N Chandrasekaran and Anbumani Ramadoss soon headed over to the Chief Minister’s office and greeted CM Palaniswami. Meanwhile, the two DMK MP-elects from the DMK and Vaiko received their certificates in the presence of DMK chief MK Stalin.
Polls were announced for six Rajya Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu on account of AIADMK MPs T Rathinavel, V Maitreyan, KR Arjunan and R Lakshmanan retiring 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 General Elections, and hence, her seat too was vacant.
While former Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Minister Mohammad John serves as the Deputy Secretary of the AIADMK's Minority Welfare Wing, N Chandrashekar is the party secretary for Mettur, Salem district. For PMK’s Youth Wing Secretary and former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, this will be his second term in the Rajya Sabha. He lost his Dharmapuri parliamentary seat in the Lok Sabha polls.
At present, the strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly— which forms the electorate for the indirect Rajya Sabha polls— is 232 (excluding two vacancies and a nominated member). The ruling AIADMK has 123 MLAs, including the Speaker. Soon after the 22-seat bye-elections in the state, the DMK's MLA tally rose to 108 in the Assembly, enabling them to file three nominations to the Rajya Sabha. Vaiko will be making a re-entry into Parliament after a 15-year hiatus. His last term in the Lok Sabha was between 1999 and 2004 as a member of the DMK-BJP alliance.
Advocate P Wilson is credited with some of DMK's most important legal victories in recent years, including the recent tussle with the AIADMK government over the Marina burial plot following former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's death. M Shanmugam, General Secretary of the party's Labour Progressive Front (LPF) meanwhile was rewarded for the heralding several labour-related issues including the recent trade union unrest in Yamaha and Royal Enfield factories.