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RS polls in Tamil Nadu Thursday, Kanimozhi's re-election certain

RS polls in Tamil Nadu Thursday, Kanimozhis re-election certain

Chennai: Tamil Nadu legislators will on Thursday elect six members to Rajya Sabha. DMK chief Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi's re-election has become almost certain after Congress pledged support of its six legislators.

The election, happening after a 17-year-gap, signals the warming up of two former political allies DMK and Congress. DMK had called off its alliance with Congress in March on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.

Congress' support to Kanimozhi has reduced the prospects of DMDK nominee AR Elangovan, whose party was hoping for support from other parties.

Going by the strength of political parties in the 234-member Assembly, AIADMK led by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has ensured victory of four of her nominees and with the ruling party pledging its surplus votes, CPI leader D Raja's re-election is a certainty.

AIADMK has 151 MLAs and seven DMDK rebels, who won their voting rights through a ruling by the Madras High Court, have openly declared support to the ruling dispensation, raising its strength to 158.

Each winning candidate has to muster 34 first preference votes to be declared elected. With the three-member PMK deciding to abstain from voting, the winning margin is expected to come down to 33 votes.

Even assuming AIADMK allocates 34 first preference votes to each of its four candidates, it will still be left with 15 surplus votes.

Left parties - CPI, CPM and Forward Bloc - combine have 19 votes and AIADMK assuring its surplus 15 votes, D Raja will have no difficulty in coasting to victory.

DMK has 23 MLAs and has already garnered support of two-member PT and five-member Congress to Kanimozhi and is now assured of 32 votes and needs at least two more for victory.

DMDK with 29-members as of now is assured of support of only 22 of its MLAs, as seven rebels have made known their stand to back AIADMK, making chances of the victory of Elangovasn bleak.


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