Vaiko was recently convicted in a sedition case and sentenced to one-year jail term by a special court in Chennai.

Vaikos nomination accepted set to return to Rajya Sabha after 23 years
news Politics Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 18:47

The suspense over MDMK General Secretary Vaiko's candidature for the July 18 Rajya Sabha election in Tamil Nadu ended on Tuesday as his nominations were accepted. Some doubts were raised about the acceptance of his nomination papers as Vaiko was recently sentenced to one-year jail term by a special court in Chennai in a sedition case. Sedition is not listed as one of the offences under the Representation of People's Act, 1951 for which disqualification is attracted regardless of the prison term, thereby allowing Vaiko to contest.

The acceptance of Vaiko’s nomination means that he will return to the Rajya Sabha after 23 years. He was Vaiko had served as Rajya Sabha MP for 18 years between 1978 and 1996.  Thereafter, he was elected as Lok Sabha MP from Sivakasi in 1998 and in 1999.  

An ally of DMK in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the MDMK was allotted one Rajya Sabha seat as a part of the alliance agreement.

According to a statement issued by K.Srinivasan, Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary, a total of seven nominations were accepted and four were rejected. As there were apprehension about his nomination not being accepted, Vaiko had asked DMK President M.K. Stalin to field an alternate candidate from his party.

Accordingly N.R. Elango of the DMK had also filed his nomination which was also accepted. He is likely to withdraw from the race.

The other contestants are: M. Shanmugham and P. Wilson (both DMK), A. Mohammed John and N. Chandrasekaran (both AIADMK) and Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK.

The AIADMK has 123 MLAs in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, while the DMK has a strength of 101. DMK ally Congress has seven MLAs, there is one Independent member, while two seats are vacant.

The elections are being held to fill up the vacancies caused by the retirement of five Rajya Sabha members -- T. Rathinavel, V. Maitreyan, K.B. Arjunan, R. Lakshmanan (all AIADMK), and D. Raja (CPI) -- and the resignation of DMK's Kanimozhi following her win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

(With IANS inputs)

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