218 candidates elected unopposed in TN ULB polls

The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) has announced that 218 candidates contesting in the state Urban local body polls were elected unopposed.

Of them, 196 candidates were elected to town panchayat seats, 18 to municipalities, and four to corporations. The polls are scheduled to be held on February 19.

Sources in the TNSEC told IANS that around 60 per cent of the candidates who were elected unopposed are from the ruling DMK.

During the rural local body polls held in December 2019, the maximum candidates who won unopposed were from the AIADMK.

The poll pannel in a statement also said that there are 57,778 candidates in the fray for filling 12,607 posts in 21 corporations, 138 municipalities and 489 town panchayats.

A total od 74,416 candidates have filed nominations in 12,738 wards in 21 corporations, 138 municipalities, and 490 town panchayats. A total of 2,062 nominations were rejected while 14,324 withdrew their nominations, the SEC added.

The presence of small parties like Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK ) of actor turned politician Seeman, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) of superstar Kamal Haasan, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) of TTV Dhinakaran, Desiya Murpoku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) of actor turned politician and former Opposition leader Vijayakant and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) of the powerful Vanniiyar community has led to multi-cornered fights in the elections and some of these candidates have withdrawn their nominations unable to bear the pressure from mainstream parties like the DMK and AIADMK at the grass root levels.

Sources in the SEC told IANS that a large number of nomination withdrawals occur as candidates of small political parties are “forced” to withdraw by the local leaders of mainstream parties like DMK and AIADMK.

The Urban and Rural local body elections are won and lost by slender margins and mainstream parties do not want their votes to be split and hence put the pressure on small parties to withdraw their nominations.

A heavy contingent of police and paramilitary forces will be deployed during the run-up to the elections and on election day itself, the poll body said.

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