Photo Courtesy: IANS

Chennai, May 4: Political maneuvering has commenced in the opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu for the two Rajya Sabha seats that the party is expected to bag among the six seats that will fall vacant by June end.

Currently, the opposition AIADMK and the ruling DMK have three members each in the Upper House. Given the present position in the Legislative Assembly, the DMK will be able to nominate four members while the AIADMK can nominate two.

The three retiring Rajya Sabha members of the AIADMK are — S.R. Balasubramoniyan, A. Navaneethakrishnan, and A. Vijayakumar. Sources in the AIADMK told IANS that the two powerful leaders of the party, Chief coordinator, O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami will divide the two seats among themselves.

While former ministers, D. Jayakumar, CVe Shanmugham, S. Semmalai, B. Valrmathi are under consideration, the names of Gokula Indira who is a former RS member, S.P.M. Syed Khan, Theni district secretary of the party and Dr. Venugopal from the SC wing of the party are also doing the rounds.

AIADMK sources told IANS that while Palaniswami had promised former minister Semmalai, a Vanniyar, a seat that will become vacant, he is under pressure from fellow another Vanniyar leader, Shanmugham who is much more articulate than Semmalai.

The name of former fisheries minister and one of the most vocal voices of the party, D. Jayakumar is also under serious consideration.

The Panneerselvam faction is considering the nomination Syed Khan, who has been a loyalist of the former chief minister in his home district of Theni and being a leader from the minority Muslim community, he has a good chance to get nominated to the house of elders.

However, the names of Dr. Venugopal and J.C.D. Prabhakar are also under consideration for the post of Rajya Sabha member from the Panneerselvam camp.

With the AIADMK losing back-to-back elections since the 2019 general elections to the ruling DMK, including in the Assembly elections of 2021 and the Urban local body and rural local body polls, several senior leaders who want to be in political reckoning are lobbying to get the nomination and the politics of AIADMK is becoming more active in the days to come.

It has also to be seen whether the Sasikala factor will be working out in the decision of the Panneerselvam camp as Syed Khan, the district secretary of the party in Theni has been a vocal supporter of the reentry of Sasikala into the party fold as well as the merger of TTV Dhinakaran’s party Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) with AIADMK.

Source: IANS