AIADMK captures majority of rural bodies in Tamil Nadu

AIADMK captures majority of rural bodies in Tamil Nadu

AIADMK supporters. (PTI Photo)

Aided by independents and cross-voting, the ruling AIADMK on Saturday trumped the DMK-led alliance by capturing the majority of district rural panchayats and panchayat unions in Tamil Nadu, though the Opposition combine won a greater number of seats in the local body elections.

The indirect elections were also marred by violence with a Deputy Superintendent of Police being hacked with a sickle by members of an armed gang. Venkatesan, the Virudhunagar DSP, was injured and is now recuperating at a hospital.

In elections held to rural local bodies in 27 of the 36 districts – nine districts did not go to polls due to reorganization – the AIADMK captured 13 and its ally PMK one district panchayat chairman posts, while the DMK won in 12 places.

Elections to Sivaganga district panchayat, where there was a tie with both alliances winning eight seats each, was cancelled by the district election officer. If one goes by the results, the DMK and AIADMK should have won 13 districts each but alleged cross-voting by Congress and DMK councillors led to AIADMK winning Pudukkottai district panchayat.

In the elections held to rural local bodies in Tamil Nadu in two phases on December 27 and December 30 last year, the DMK-led alliance surged past ahead of the AIADMK by winning more seats. But the AIADMK captured the majority of panchayat unions too, thanks to support from independents and local bodies.

In panchayat unions, the AIADMK won 150, while the DMK and its alliance partners won 135 unions. Elections in more than 25 panchayat unions were cancelled due to various issues such as the breakdown of law and order and absence of officers to conduct elections.

Even as the indirect elections were being held, the DMK alleged that the AIADMK was “misusing” its authority to win a maximum number of district panchayats and panchayat unions in the state. The DMK also rushed two of its senior leaders – T R Baalu and R S Bharathi – to the State Election Commission to complain about irregularities by cadre and leaders of the AIADMK.

Elections to the local bodies were considered crucial as they came just a year ahead of the assembly elections in the state.

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