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Urban poll rout may lead to call for  leadership change in AIADMK

Chennai, Feb 23 (BPNS)

The rout in the Urban local body elections will in all likelihood lead to a call for a change of leadership in AIADMK. The party is now led jointly by former Chief Minister’s O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

In the previous Urban local body elections, held in 2011, the AIADMK had won almost 50% of the seats but in the polls held after a gap of 11 years, the AIADMK could muster only 15 % of the seats.

A total of 12,838 seats for 21 corporations, 138 municipalities and 489 town panchayats had gone for voting on February 19 for the Urban local body polls. According to information available from the State Election Commission, the AIADMK has won 164 corporation councilor seats (11.94%), 638 municipal ward seats (16.80 percent) and 1206 seats in town panchayats (15.82%).

Since the drubbing it received in the 2019 general elections the party lost in the 2020 rural local body elections, 2021 assembly elections and 2021 rural local body elections in the nine new districts of Tamil Nadu and the heavy drubbing it received in the Urban polls of February 19, is one which the AIADMK leadership cannot brush under the carpet.

The AIADMK which had won handsomely from the Western Kongu belt including Coimbatore, Salem, and Erode failed miserably in these bastions. The party lost heavily even in the home district, Salem of former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, and also lost ward 23 in Salem Municipal corporation, where the residence of Palaniswami is situated.

There is nothing to rejoice of the AIADMK Chief Coordinator and former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam as well with the party losing heavily in his home district, Theni losing all the Urban local bodies to the DMK led alliance.

Political analyst and Director of Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a Think Tank based out of Madurai, Dr. R. Padmanabhan while speaking to BPNS said,” The AIADMK is routed and the party has lost successive elections since 2019 general elections. It needs a course correction and the dual leadership of Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami failed miserably and the party needs a change at the helm. Stalin has emerged powerful and the past nine months of administration of the Chief Minister has touched all aspects of public life and the results give a stamp of authority to him. The opposition in the meanwhile has to take immediate steps to stay alive in the politics of Tamil Nadu.”

With the election results given a clear advantage to the DMK, across Tamil Nadu with all the bastions of senior AIADMK leaders including former ministers falling, the only remedy for the AIADMK is to go back to the grassroots and build the party brick by brick.