The six members who will retire on July 24 are: A. Elavarasan and V. Maitreyan from the AIADMK, Tiruchi N Siva and MK Kanimozhi from the DMK, BS Gnanadesikan of the Congress and D. Raja of the CPI.
Gnanadesikan, the Congress unit chief and D Raja of the CPI are going to be out of the race due to current political alignment.
A candidate needs 34 votes to get elected. While the AIADMK has a strength of 151 (including the speaker) in the 235-member house, the DMDK has 29 legislators, the DMK 23, CPI-M 10, CPI eight, Congress five, PMK three, MMK and PT two each, Forward Bloc one and nominated member one.
Chief Minister and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa, who can win four of six seats falling vacant, has announced six names and wants to win five seats. With this she wants to humiliate both Karunanidhi and the Congress. Karunanidhi may lose face if he is unable to make his daughter Kanimozhi get re-elected to RS.
Jayalalithaa hopes to get the fifth seat with the help of marginal parties that contested the Assembly polls in its alliance - six MLAs in all - and DMDK rebels. Jayalalitha has met few rebel DMDK legislators. This way she wants to deny votes to DMK.
As such, barring the ruling party, none of the other parties have enough numbers to win even one seat.
The DMK can hope to win one seat if either the DMDK or the CPM is willing to offer support. With rebellion on his head, DMDK leader Vijayakant is yet to reveal his plans, and the CPM hasn't decided on the matter.
Karunanidhi today presided over a meeting of party MLAs to discuss the issue, with four more days left for the deadline for filing of nomination papers.
Emerging from the meeting, Karunanidhi replying to queries from mediapersons, said, "we have not taken a decision so far. DMK will take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time". Asked whether DMK had sought the support of CPI(M), he said "we have not sought the support of any particular party. We will talk to all parties."