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Cong, DMK not pursuing proposal on fielding Manmohan to RS


Press Trust of India Chennai
Spiking speculations that former prime minister Manmohan Singh might be fielded from Tamil Nadu to the Rajya Sabha, sources in the DMK and Congress Friday said such a proposal was not being pursued.
Neither the Congress has persuaded DMK nor was it possible for the regional ally to allot a seat now in view of its commitments, the sources said.
Leaders from both the DMK and Congress sought to dub as 'media creation' reports that Congress was pressing for the Rajya Sabha seat for Singh, whose term in the Upper House of Parliament ended recently.
Beinnial elections to six Rajya Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu are to be held on July 18 and going by the respective strength of parties, the ruling AIADMK and DMK can win three each.
As per the prepoll arrangement firmed up by the DMK for the recent Lok Sabha elections, one Rajya Sabha seat from its kitty will go to the MDMK. The DMK would field its candidates in the other two, sources in the M K Stalin-led party told PTI.
MDMK is likely to field its chief Vaiko for the seat.
"It is a media creation," a DMK leader said on reports that was Congress pressing for a Rajya Sabha seat for Singh and this view found resonance with leaders of state Congress.
The DMK leader said the party would like to see its numbers go up in Rajya Sabha to fight for Tamil Nadu's rights and field its own nominees, adding a decision on candidates will be taken by Stalin.
A Congress senior said considering aspects like DMK's line on state autonomy, the Dravidian party may wish to back a candidate from Tamil Nadu and anyway his party has not pressed on Singh's name.
In over three decades, he said he could not remember even a single name belonging to other states getting elected to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu.
The term of office of DMK's Kanimozhi who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tuticorin, AIADMK's V Maitreyan, K R Arjunan, T Rathinavel, R Lakshmanan and CPI's D Raja will expire on July 24 and the Election Commission earliler this week announced the schedule of poll to fill the vacancies.
Among the names doing the rounds in the DMK for the Rajya Sabha openings are that of Dravidian outfit's trade union wing Labour Progressive Front leader P Shanmugam and former additional solicitor general P Wilson.
AIADMK and DMK have the requisite numbers to elect three members each in the 234-member Assembly with two vacancies.
If the two parties name only three nominees each, there will be no contest.
The AIADMK has 123 MLAs including the Speaker, the DMK 100, its allies the Congress seven, the IUML one and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dhinakaran is an independent.

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First Published: Jun 28 2019 | 7:00 PM IST

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