DMK alliance leads in local body polls in Tamil Nadu

DMK alliance leads in local body polls in Tamil Nadu

The victory will be 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. (PTI photo)

Opposition DMK-led alliance appeared set for a victory in elections to rural local bodies held in 27 districts by establishing a clear lead over the AIADMK, in a major embarrassment to the ruling party-led combine that seemed quite enthusiastic during the campaign.

DMK alliance comprising of Congress, Left parties, MDMK and VCK, was leading in both panchayat union wards and district panchayat wards. The counting of votes polled in two phases began on Thursday morning, but the slow-paced process prompted the DMK to move the Madras High Court and its President M K Stalin to visit the State Election Commission (SEC) twice.

Since the panchayat union and district panchayat chairmen will be chosen by the elected representatives through elections on January 11, there was little clarity on how many unions or districts the political combines would win.

The victory will be 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.

As per trends put out by the SEC at 12 pm on Friday for 3,905 of 5,067 panchayat union wards, the DMK combine was ahead or has won in 1,824 seats, while the AIADMK had won or was leading in 1,481 wards. Of the 515 district panchayat wards, the SEC said trends were available for 219 seats with the DMK leading in 127 and AIADMK (79).

However, local television channels, relying on inputs from its reporters’ network on the ground, said the DMK combine was leading in 2,303 union wards and 268 district panchayat wards, the AIADMK in 2,142 panchayat union wards and 239 district panchayat wards.

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.

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