DMK alliance headed for victory in civic polls in TN

DMK alliance headed for victory in civic polls in TN

Stalin, whose party had moved the High Court seeking declaration of results fast, said the results were the beginning of AIADMK’s “downfall” as the state is set to go to assembly polls in 2021.

Opposition DMK-led alliance was on Friday headed for a victory in the elections held to rural local bodies in 27 districts in the state, as the ruling AIADMK which was quite confident about a good showing in the run-up to the elections.

The two combines were on the course to win 13 district panchayat councils each while both alliances have won an equal number of seats in Sivaganga district council leading to a tie. Counting was underway in several places.

In the elections to union panchayat councils, the DMK combine was clearly ahead of the AIADMK alliance by romping home in 108 seats. The AIADMK won in 94 seats, while independents or smaller parties will hold the key in more than 100 union panchayat councils.

Elections to the posts of district panchayat chairmen and panchayat union chairmen will be held on January 11.

This is the second time in the state’s history that the ruling party has not been able to win majority of seats in the local body elections – last was in 1986 when late M G Ramachandran of the AIADMK was the chief minister.

Elections to rural local bodies were held only in 27 of the 36 districts in the state due to non-completion of delimitation work in remaining 9 districts. Polls for urban local bodies will be held separately for the first time in the state.

While DMK president claimed “huge victory” in the rural local body elections, the AIADMK appeared conceding defeat with its leaders O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami thanking voters for electing their alliance candidates.

In a joint statement, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami the party has been gaining the trust of the people after the death of its leader J Jayalalithaa. “We have been able to save the organisation from those who wanted to write obituary,” the duo said in the statement.

Stalin, whose party had moved the High Court seeking declaration of results fast, said the results were the beginning of AIADMK’s “downfall” as the state is set to go to assembly polls in 2021.

The victory is a major boost for the DMK, which suffered a humiliating defeat in the by-elections to two constituencies in October just five months after it swept the Lok Sabha polls. The party will now exert pressure on the government to hold elections for town panchayats, municipalities and corporations.

The AIADMK has suffered a severe setback as the party was upbeat about its performance in the local body polls riding high on the by-poll victory. It had tried to project the DMK as “reluctant” to face the people at the grassroots level as the Opposition party was focussing all its energy in fighting cases against conduct of elections in courts. Former Minister Anwar Rajah blamed the party’s stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act for its poor performance.

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