Election to six Rajya Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu on July 18

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Both parties are in the process of finalising nominees for the Upper House.

Chennai: On Tuesday, the Election Commission announced July 18 as the day of polling to elect six Rajya Sabha MPs from Tamil Nadu.

These elections are being held to fill vacancies that will arise from the retirement of six MPs on July 24 – four from the AIADMK and one each from the DMK and the Communist Party of India.

Five of the six vacancies are against berths being vacated by AIADMK’s T Rathinavel, V Maitreyan, KR Arjunan and Dr R Lakshmanan and CPI’s D Raja. The sixth vacancy has arisen after DMK’s Kanimozhi was elected to the Lok Sabha from Thoothukudi.

The AIADMK and the DMK can both send three members each to the Upper House by virtue of their respective strength in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

The DMK and its allies, Congress and Indian Union Muslim League, have strength of 108 MLAs (100+7+1). The AIADMK has 123 MLAs. As per the election formula, a member needs 34 votes to get elected.

Both parties are in the process of finalising nominees for the Upper House.

The DMK has said that it will to send Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko to the Rajya Sabha as part of a pre-poll pact. Vaiko has been elected to the Lok Sabha twice and the Upper House thrice.

The AIADMK is also expected to give one seat to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) as part of a pre-poll alliance.

Other contenders in the DMK are its labour wing president Shanmugam and former Nagapattinam MP AKS Vijayan.

In the AIADMK, a number of leaders are in the race — V Maithreyan, former minister Gokula Indira, party presidium chairman Madusoodhanan and former MP Anwar Raajaah.

Nominations will start on July 8 and withdrawals can be made till July 11. The results will be announced on July 18 itself.

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