The ruling DMK has captured the Periya Negamam town panchayat in Pollachi district even before votes are polled for the Urban local body elections.
AIADMK candidates had withdrawn their nomination papers on the last date of withdrawal on Monday. However, Ravi Ramasamy of the AIADMK also got elected unopposed. He is one among the nine candidates who got elected unopposed among the fifteen wards.
The AIADMK candidates withdrew from wards 3,6,7,8,11,12 and 14.
Sources in the AIADMK told IANS that there was an unwritten code in Periya Negamam that the ruling party candidates are elected unopposed in urban and rural elections. Even the former chairman of Periya Negamam town panchayath, P. Somasundaram of the AIADMK did not file his nomination from ward 10 even though he was allocated a seat by the party.
Notably, in 2011, AIADMK which was ruling the state then was elected in 14 of the 15 seats unopposed. The only DMK candidate who won from ward no 3 in the Periya Negamam town panchayath was R. Sakkaravarthy who was elected unopposed.
AIADMK senior leader Pollachi Jayaraman, who was in charge of the election for the party in the town panchayat, tried to convince the candidates but failed. He was not available for comment even after repeated calls.
According to an AIADMK leader of Periya Negamam town, the local people want to elect the ruling party unopposed in the urban local body polls as they believe that only candidates from the ruling party can do development works in the town.
Dr. R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation (SEDF), a think tank based out of Madurai, while speaking to IANS, said: “Electing the representatives unopposed is not a good sign of a healthy democracy. Political parties and leaders must convince people that elections are to be held and in back-to-back elections, candidates from the party ruling the state getting elected unopposed is poor democracy. According to Panchayat Raj’s concept, for a healthy democracy, there has to be a vibrant gram, and village panchayats and political leadership must seriously contemplate on this.”