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Political parties in TN gears up for the local body polls in new districts

- June 29, 2021

Chennai, June 29(BPNS)

After the assembly polls of 2021 and the DMK and its allies winning the elections crushing the ruling AIADMK and its allies, the next major political battle between the two Dravidian majors will take place in the local body polls to be held before September 15 in the nine new districts of Tamil Nadu.

A Supreme Court vacation bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose on June 22, Tuesday, directed the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission to conduct the local body elections to the new nine districts of the state and to declare results before September 15.

The Supreme Court bench in its order said, “We grant an extension of time till September 15,  2015,  to complete the entire election process, including publication/ notification of election schedule and the result thereof before September 15, 2021, as the constitutional mandate to conduct elections in a time-bound manner.”

The nine districts which were carved out from the existing four districts and the elections to the local bodies in the new districts were to be held before December 2019 after completing the delimitation process. The new districts where the elections are to be held are Kancheepuram, Chengalpettu, Vellore, Tirupathur, Ranipet, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi.

With the elections to be held and results to be declared before September 15, political parties have already started preparations with the DMK already holding district secretary-level meetings at the party state headquarters on Monday in which the state Chief Minister and DMK president M.K.Stalin participated. In the meeting Stalin exhorted the party district secretaries to chalk out a plan so that the DMK alliance win all the seats giving no room for the opposition.

DMK alliance partner Congress is keen that the differences with the Dravidian party at the grass root levels be ironed out and get maximum seats to contest. State Congress Chief, K.S. Alagiri while speaking to BPNS said,” Congress has performed extremely well in the recent assembly elections and we expect at least 10 percent of the total seats in the local body polls to be allocated to us to contest the polls.”. Sources in the DMK told IANS that Congress does not have a grass root machinery in the state and that it is piggy riding on the DMK for reaping electoral dividends.

However it is learned that the DMK would consider providing the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi(VSK), a movement predominant with Dalit cadres more seats in the ensuing elections as the VCK have a good grass-root presence in these districts.

The AIADMK is on a sticky wicket after losing power and the arrival of former interim general secretary V.K.Sasikala knocking her claims to lead the party. While both the senior leaders, Edappadi K Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam are putting up brave faces, there are resentments at the grass root and Sasikala is trying to stay live by releasing audio clippings of her conversation with the AIADMK cadres in various parts of the state on a daily basis.

The AIADMK is also worried that the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam(AMMK)  floated by the nephew of Sasikala, TTV Dhinakaran will create problems for it by eating into its vote share.

Even as the AIADMK has dismissed its spokesperson Pugazhendhi for having been vocally critical of PMK leader Dr. Anbumony Ramadoss, the party cadres do not feel that the PMK leadership have that bonhomie with the AIADMK and that there are several differences of opinion at the grass-root level between the PMK and AIADMK leadership, both at the micro and macro levels.

A senior leader of the AIADMK from Northern Tamil Nadu while speaking to BPNS on conditions of anonymity said,” If PMK does not support us in North Tamil Nadu, then it will be curtains and I don’t think that the issues between the AIADMK and the PMK at several places of the state have died down and we have to immediately reach a solution to this vexing trouble or we will face the music in the local body polls.”

Another issue confronting the AIADMK is the BJP state president,L. Murugan coming out in the open that the alliance with the Dravidian party was only for the assembly polls and that things are open.  While BJP is not a big force to reckon with in Tamil Nadu, it has pockets of influence and this could also turn to create problems for the AIADMK at the grass-root levels if things are not sorted out.