It's now TN MLAs turn to vote: Rajya Sabha by-poll in Tamil Nadu...What's MK Stalin's plan?

It's the turn of Tamil Nadu MLAs to cast their vote as the date of the by-poll for a Rajya Sabha seat from Tamil Nadu has been announced on Tuesday. In total, there are three seats that Tamil Nadu has to fill in the upper house of the Parliament and the Election Commission has now announced the date of by-poll for one seat, that fell vacant after the demise of ADMK MP Mohammedjan. 

In a press release, the Election Commission has said that the by-poll for this seat will be conducted on September 13 and the notification for the same will be issued on August 24. With a clear majority, the DMK and its alliance can leniently win the seat as the coalition has 159 MLAs in the assembly and to win a Rajya Sabha seat, the candidate must secure the vote from 34 MLAs. It has been reported that the by-poll will be conducted in the premises of the assembly and the polling will be concluded at 4 pm post which the votes will be counted. The Electoral officer will officially be declaring the winner with a certification to fill the seat in Rajya Sabha. 

The seat had fallen vacant after the demise of 72-year-old ADMK MP Mohammedjan. The deceased leader had the term till July 24, 2025, and he died on March 23 this year due to a heart attack. The DMK had formed the government in Tamil Nadu after a landslide victory by defeating the ADMK and MK Stalin had assumed the office of the Chief Minister. While the DMK has a bright prospect of increasing its number in Rajya Sabha by winning this seat, the reports close to the developments say that Stalin has a different plan and is considering leaving the seat to the Congress party to field its candidate. 

The DMK had given an assurance to the Congress party of providing a Rajya Sabha seat from Tamil Nadu as both the parties observe alliance and contested together in the recently-held state assembly polls. Currently, the DMK has seven MPs in Rajya Sabha and winning the other two seats from Tamil Nadu, the number may go up to nine. As per the norm, Tamil Nadu has 18 seats in Rajya Sabha in total including the three seats that are vacant. Currently, DMK has seven MPs, ADMK has five MPs, Tamil Maanila Congress has one MP (GK Vasan), so does PMK (Anbumani Ramadoss), and MDMK (Vaiko) while the rest three seats are vacant. 

The seat occupied by ADMK's Mohammedjan has fallen vacant on 23rd March 2021 and the rest two seats had gone vacant on 10th May 2021. According to reports, if the DMK provides the poll-bound seat to the Congress party, the latter will consider fielding its veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to elect to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu. It has been reported that Congress president Sonia Gandhi will take a final call in announcing the candidate. In its press release on Tuesday, the Election Commission of India has said that the Covid-19 protocols will be followed during the by-poll. 

The commission has mandated that each individual in the election process must wear a face mask during the by-poll and thermal scanning of all people entering the premises has to be done along with ensuring to keep sanitisers at all locations. The Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu has been directed to dispatch a senior officer from the state to make sure that the protocols and instructions concerning the Covid-19 containment measures are adhered to and adequate arrangements have been made for conducting the by-poll on September 13.