DMK moves court over local body poll results

DMK moves court over local body poll results

The day witnessed dramatic developments as DMK President M K Stalin rushed to meet State Election Commissioner Dr R Palaniswamy seeking announcement of results fast in areas where counting was over and even threatening to sit on a fast if results are not announced on time.

In a dramatic twist, Tamil Nadu’s principal Opposition DMK on Thursday knocked at the doors of the Madras High Court alleging irregularities and inordinate delay in the counting of votes cast in polls held to rural local bodies, even as the counting process was underway across the state.

There was high drama as DMK president M K Stalin made two trips — one in the morning and another late in the night — to the State Election Commission to meet its chief Dr R Palaniswamy, seeking announcement of results in areas where the “party and its partners have already won”. He threatened to sit on a fast if it was not done.

Hours after Stalin’s first trip to SEC, party’s legal eagle and Rajya Sabha MP, P Wilson, was at the high court seeking urgent hearing of DMK petition. The judge adjourned the case for Friday and asked the SEC to file an affidavit on the counting process. The drama continued even as trends/results published by SEC at 11.30 pm put the DMK-led alliance ahead of AIADMK combine.

The elections are considered crucial for both DMK and AIADMK as this is the first time they are facing polls at the grassroots level after the death of their respective leaders M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.

The drama continued even as trends/results published by the SEC at 11.30 pm put the DMK-led alliance ahead of the AIADMK combine.

According to the trends available for 1,529 of 5,067 panchayat union wards, the DMK combine was ahead or has won in 751 seats, while the AIADMK-led alliance had won or was leading in 618 wards. Of the 515 district panchayat wards, the SEC said trends were available only for 22 seats, with the DMK leading in 16 and AIADMK 6.

However, local television channels, relying on inputs from its reporters’ network on the ground, said the DMK combine was leading in 1,233 union wards and 193 district panchayat wards, the AIADMK in 1,075 panchayat union wards and 198 district panchayat wards.

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

 Even as the counting was underway, Stalin accused the AIADMK of conspiring his party-led alliance from winning the polls hands down.

“The Returning Officers (ROs) are announcing results only in seats where the ruling AIADMK has won. There were even instances of DMK men being sent out of the counting centre,” he said, alleging that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s relative was “ordering ROs” to announce AIADMK candidates as winners.

Dr Palaniswamy said the counting is expected to be completed only by Friday evening.

Complaints of the counting process being slowed down or stopped were reported from various parts of the state as DMK leaders and cadre blocked National Highways at several places to protest “irregularities” by AIADMK.

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