The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) turned down the Congress party's request for one Rajya Sabha seat for former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Nominating three candidates for the elections to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu, DMK President MK Stalin announced names of party trade union leader M Shanmugham and advocate B Wilson. The party had agreed to give one of its three Rajya Sabha seats to Vaiko, chief of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) party, as part of an agreement in the recently held parliamentary election.
However, it was earlier speculated that Singh, earlier fielded from Assam, might be nominated from Tamil Nadu with the DMK's support.
Biennial elections will be held on July 18 to fill six Rajya Sabha seats from the state. They are being held to fill the vacancies that will arise due to the retirement of sitting members — four of the AIADMK and one each from the DMK and the CPI — next month.
Both the ruling AIADMK and the DMK can send three MPs each to the Upper House by virtue of their respective strength in the state assembly.
The retiring members are -- T Rathinavel, Dr V Maitreyan, K R Arjunan and Dr R Lakshmanan (all AIADMK), Kanimozhi (DMK) and D Raja (CPI), whose terms end on July 24.
Incidentally, Kanimozhi was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tuticorin constituency in the state in the general election.
According to the EC schedule, the notification for the Rajya Sabha biennial polls would be issued on Monday and the last date for filing nominations is July 8.
Scrutiny of nominations will be taken up the next day and the last date for withdrawal will be July 11, it said.
Polling, if required, will be held from 9am-4pm on July 18 and the counting the same day at 5 pm, it said.
The AIADMK has 123 MLAs and the DMK 100 members in the 234-member Assembly with two vacancies. DMK ally Congress has seven legislators, while the IUML one. AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran is an Independent member. A candidate needs 34 votes to get elected.
(With agency inputs)