statesman news service
CHENNAI, 14 JUNE: The CPI is undecided over choosing its candidate for the 27 June biennial election to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu as the party’s state and Central leaderships are pushing their respective candidates.
The state leadership wants Tamil Nadu state secretary Mr D Pandian to be the nominee while the centre leadership is interested in re-nominating their national secretary Mr D Raja. Mr Raja is one of the six Rajya Sabha members who will be completing his term on 24 July. Sources in the party said only after Saturday’s executive committee meeting, would the candidate be decided. Yet, the state leadership wants Mr Pandian to get nominated. Mr Pandian is also believed to have the support of AIADMK supremo Miss J Jayalalithaa.
Miss Jayalalithaa has fielded five candidates for the six Rajya Sabha seats, leaving the sixth seat, which she is believed to have advised the CPI to contest. Political analysts are seeing this as a strategy by which Miss Jayalalithaa can ensure the victory of a CPI candidate as well as of her party’s nominees.
The CPI had hoped Miss Jayalalithaa would field only four candidates and would offer the AIADMK’s extra votes to its candidate. Early this month, CPI general secretary Mr S Sudhakar Reddy, former general secretary Mr A B Bardhan and Mr D Raja, visited in Chennai but could not get an appointment to meet her. Finally Mr Bardhan and Mr Reddy managed to meet Miss Jayalalithaa in Delhi, where she had expressed her inability to support the CPI. She is said to have suggested that it could field its candidate for the sixth seat. The CPI has only eight members but its support will swell to 18, if the CPI-M’s 10 members vote for its candidate.