DMK goes traditional way, nominates lawyer, unionist to Rajya Sabha
The DMK on Monday announced trade unionist M Shanmugam and senior advocate P Nelson as its candidates for the July 18 Rajya Sabha polls.
The polls are being held to replace six members of the Upper House whose term comes to an end on July 24.
With increased strength after the recent bypolls, DMK can nominate three MPs. Of this, it has given one seat to ally MDMK. MDMK was supposed to finalise its candidate on Sunday, but has postponed its meeting to Tuesday (July 2).
According to sources in the party, its general secretary Vaiko would most probably make a comeback to Parliament after 2004 when he had served as a Lok Sabha member.
As a tradition, DMK sends trade unionists and advocates to the Rajya Sabha.
M Shanmugam (77) has been associated with the DMK’s trade union Labour Progressive Front (LPF) for decades, and has held the post of general secretary since 2001. He has played a significant role in various labour union strikes, including the one against the Nokia manufacturing unit in Sriperumbudur.
The last trade unionist that DMK sent to parliament was C Kuppusamy, who served as the Lok Sabha MP between 1998 and 2009.
The other nominee, P Wilson, a former additional solicitor general of India, will replace another DMK lawyer and current Rajya Sabha MP, RS Bharathi, who is also the organising secretary of the party.
53-year-old Wilson had won the case against the AIADMK government, which had refused to allot space for a memorial for DMK stalwart and former chief minister the late M Karunanidhi after his death.
Earlier speculations were rife that the Congress would be pushing DMK to nominate former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu, but now, it is clear that Singh would be nominated from Rajasthan.