AIADMK names Balaganga as Rajya Sabha nominee
The opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu has named its election wing joint secretary N Balaganga as its nominee for a Rajya Sabha seat.
AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha said in a statement in Chennai on Wednesday that the AIADMK-led coalition would field two candidates for the Rajya Sabha.
Six Rajya Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu fall vacant this March and elections to the upper house of parliament for these seats will take place on March 26. Nominations close on Saturday.
The AIADMK has 60 seats in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly. Its coalition partners, Vaiko's MDMK, has six.
It is now expected that one Rajya Sabha seat will be contested by the MDMK, probably Vaiko himself.
The ruling DMK (with 96 seats in the assembly) has already nominated two candidates, AA Jinnah from a minority community and Vasantha Stanley, a woman, for its two seats.
Vasantha Stanley's nomination is, however, mired in a controversy, with allegations that her husband Stanley Rajan has taken Rs.35 million by duping 12 public sector banks.
He allegedly provided the same piece of property as collateral for all loans, was a defaulter and has five cases pending against him, according to the state's crime branch police records. Vasantha has signed as co-applicant in the loan documents and is a co-accused in the five cases against her husband.
The DMK has given one seat to its coalition partner, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which has fielded T.K. Rangarajan.
The ruling coalition has given two seats to the Congress, which is still to name its candidates.
This places seven candidates in the fray for six seats.
The MDMK is not likely to put up its candidate against the Congress or the Left. The contest is ultimately expected to boil down to one between the nominee of the DMK and the AIADMK-supported MDMK candidate.
With a minority and a woman nominee, the DMK has placed a tough choice before MDMK leader Vaiko.