CHENNAI, June 20;Now, it is official. The State will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha elections after a gap of 17 years. As the deadline for withdrawal of nomination papers came to an end at 3 p.m. on Thursday, the authorities announced that there were seven candidates in the fray for six seats.
The seven candidates were: K.R.Arjunan, R. Lakshmanan, V. Maitreyan and T. Rathinavel, all belonging to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam; Kanimozhi of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam; D. Raja of the Communist Party of India and A. R. Elangovan of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam.
A press release issued by Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary A.M.P. Jamaludeen stated that poll would take place on June 27 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The results would be announced around 5 p.m. the same day.
Dr. Maitreyan, Mr. Raja and Ms Kanimozhi are the sitting MPs.
Though the AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa last week named AIADMK’s farmers’ wing secretary and former MLA K. Thangamuthu as the party’s fifth candidate, she, early this week, announced that her party parliamentary board had decided to withdraw Mr Thangamuthu’s name in response to the request of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and support Mr Raja.
In February 1996, the State saw a contest when the Congress’ Peter Alphonse was elected to the Rajya Sabha. As now, there were seven candidates including the AIADMK’s five and the rebel Congress group’s nominee – M. Udaya Bhanu. Finally, all the five nominees of the AIADMK won.