Chennai: The nomination process to the July 18 Rajya Sabha (RS) biennial elections from Tamil Nadu to fill six vacancies from the State took a new turn on Monday with the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) fielding one more candidate apart from the two nominees who have already filed papers.
The DMK had allotted the third seat with backing of its MLAs' to the MDMK leader Vaiko as part of the seat-sharing agreement for the recent Lok Sabha polls after two of DMK nominees - senior advocate P Wilson and party's trade union leader M Shanmugam- had filed their papers last week.
While Mr. Vaiko had also filed his nomination papers on July 6, a day after he was convicted for a year in an old sedition case - the sentence has since been suspended and Vaiko is going on appeal against the special court order-, sources said there was some uncertainty about the returning officer for the RS polls here accepting his nomination papers. The view of the Election Commission of India has been sought after the court order in Vaiko's case.
In view of this sudden development, the DMK not wishing to take any chances, has on Monday fielded N R Elango, senior advocate of DMK, to also file his nomination. He filed his papers with the Assembly secretary and returning officer for the RS polls, Mr. Srinivasan in Chennai.
The buzz in the State Secretariat is should Mr. Vaiko's nomination be accepted - as sedition does not appear in the list of offences which attract instant disqualification to contest an election-, then the third DMK nominee Mr. Elango would withdraw his papers. Everything now hinges on what Delhi decides on Vaiko's papers. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is July 9. Scrutiny would take place on July 9, Tuesday.
As today was the last date for filing nominations for the RS elections, the PMK nominee Dr Anbumani Ramadoss of the AIADMK-led NDA alliance filed his papers today. Also, the two AIADMK nominees, Mr Muhammath John, former State minister and N Chandrasegaran also filed their nomination papers today. In all, ten candidates including three independents have filed their respective nomination papers for the RS election from Tamil Nadu.