AIADMK's strength in Rajya Sabha to go up

Centre happy as it will help them get crucial bills passed.

Chennai: Fresh from its stunning victory in the Assembly elections, the AIADMK is set to get an enhanced presence in the Rajya Sabha by sending four members on its own as against the three members of the party retiring from the Upper House next month.

Six members from Tamil Nadu — three from AIADMK, two from DMK and one from Congress — will retire on June 28 and elections to fill these vacancies will be held on June 11 if necessary.

Though the AIADMK’s strength would go up only by one seat, the ruling BJP at the Centre is happy with the fact that the Dravidian party will have 13 MPs from next month, which would help them in getting crucial bills passed.

AIADMK has been supporting the BJP, which is struggling to cobble up a majority in the Upper House that is dominated by the Congress, in Rajya Sabha and it is a known fact that BJP top brass — from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Parliamentary affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu — share excellent rapport with Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Normally, a candidate would need 34 votes to get elected to the Rajya Sabha and the AIADMK, which currently has 134, is just short of two seats to get the fourth candidate elected on its own.

However, with the strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly to remain at 232 for the next three weeks after the Election Commission postponed elections in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur has made the task easier for the AIADMK as only 33 votes are needed to get a candidate elected.

Going by the current strength of the Assembly, the AIADMK is sure to get four of its nominees elected to the Rajya Sabha. On the other hand, the DMK, which has won 89 seats, can comfortably send two of its men to the Upper House if it does not concede to the demand by its ally Congress for a seat to accommodate former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram.

Though the DMK and its allies have 98 seats, they can elect only two seats since they are short of four votes to get a third member elected. Since the Congress has just 7 members, it needs the support of the DMK to get its nominee elected.

The Congress is hoping that the DMK will payback its gratitude to the party for supporting Kanimozhi when she was elected to the Upper House in 2013.

The members who would be retiring on June 29 are AIADMK floor leader in Rajya Sabha A. Navaneethakrishnan, Manoj Paul Pandian and Rabi Bernard, K.P. Ramalingam and S. Thangavelu of the DMK and Congress’ E.M. Sudharsana Natchiappan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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