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MK Stalin-led DMK Fields NR Elango as Fourth RS Candidate After Vaiko’s Conviction in Sedition Case

The decision was taken as a 'precautionary measure' as the DMK feels Vaiko’s nomination may get rejected due to his conviction in the sedition case.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:July 8, 2019, 1:36 PM IST
MK Stalin-led DMK Fields NR Elango as Fourth RS Candidate After Vaiko’s Conviction in Sedition Case
File photo of MDMK chief Vaiko.

Chennai: With uncertainty looming over MDMK leader Vaiko’s Rajya Sabha nomination, the DMK has decided to field NR Elango, who on Monday filed his nomination in the secretariat.

The decision was taken as a “precautionary measure” as the party feels there are chances of Vaiko’s nomination getting rejected due to his conviction in a 2009 sedition case.

The DMK is eligible to get three members elected to the Rajya Sabha based on its alliance strength in the state. It has already picked P Wilson, Tamil Nadu Additional advocate general, and M Shanmugam, general secretary of its trade union wing, as the nominees. One seat of the Upper House of the Parliament has been allocated to MDMK’s Vaiko.

Although the sedition act does not come under the Representation of People Act, Vaiko’s nomination is unlikely to be rejected. But the DMK wants to play it safe and has decided to have a fourth candidate. The final call on Vaiko’s nomination will be taken by the returning officer.

Vaiko said it was he who told the DMK to field an alternative candidate in case his nomination is rejected. “MK Stalin wanted me to be a Rajya Sabha member. The RS seat was offered to me alone and not for my party. I told them to nominate an alternative candidate. I didn't expect to be convicted in a sedition case. I believe my nomination will be accepted," said Vaiko

A special court on Friday sentenced MDMK chief Vaiko to imprisonment for one year in a 2009 sedition case and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him. The court, however, granted a month’s time to Vaiko to file his appeal as the MDMK chief had moved a petition for the same.

The case relates to Vaiko’s speech in 2009 during a book launch when the Sri Lankan civil war was at its peak. In his speech, Vaiko said he was in support of LTTE. The Chennai Police had registered a case against him in 2009 under sections 124(A) (Sedition) and 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code. Vaiko had appeared before the court in May this year in connection with this case.

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