The AIADMK leadership is disinclined to give Rajya Sabha berths to candidates who were defeated in the recent Lok Sabha election. The party has not yet begun the selection process formally for selecting nominees for two Rajya Sabha seats, but its leaders are holding deliberations among themselves on prospective candidates.
A talk doing the rounds in party circles is that the leadership is not inclined to nominate any of those who lost in the Lok Sabha elections. If this rule were to be adhered to, it would spoil the chances of the party propaganda secretary and former Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, M. Thambi Durai, to make it to the Rajya Sabha. He was defeated by Congress’s S. Jothimani with a huge margin in Karur. Another leader who will also be hit by this rule is the party’s deputy coordinator K.P. Munusamy, who lost in Krishnagiri.
However, sources in the party say no decision has been taken as of yet. As for the third seat, they are firm that the party will stick to its pre-Lok Sabha poll pact commitment to give the seat to the PMK.
As for reports of the BJP having approached the AIADMK for a Rajya Sabha seat, sources not just in the ruling party but also in the national party dismissed them. While a BJP leader said his party was acutely aware of the constraints in which the AIADMK was operating, the ruling party’s leader was of the view that even if such a request was made, it would be “politely declined” as this would only add to the woes of the AIADMK following the poll rout.
In the meantime, the ruling party saw sections of members of the AMMK returning to it. Among those who rejoined the parent party were Popular V. Muthiah, who was district secretary of the Tirunelveli (Urban) unit of the AIADMK till 2017 and S. Michael Royappan, former MLA and the AMMK’s candidate for the Tirunelveli Lok Sabha candidate. The AMMK’s functionaries from the district units of Tiruvannamalai and Dharmapuri also went back to the AIADMK.