TN parties begin candidate selection process for urban local body polls

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The mainstream political parties in Tamil Nadu have commenced the candidate selection process for the upcoming urban local body polls in the state.

The ruling DMK has deputed senior leaders in different parts of the state to shortlist party candidates from the applicants. According to sources in the DMK more than 50 to 75 applications have been received for each seat and the final shortlisting will be a cumbersome process.

The party will shortlist three candidates for a seat and then would have a final discussion at the party headquarters after consultations with the district secretaries.

While it is not stated openly, money power is a major factor in the selection of candidates and those with deep pockets are given the nod. However, the popularity of the candidates is also a factor, according to DMK sources.

DMK state organizing secretary, R.S. Bharathi told IANS that “The party is in the process of selecting candidates for the urban local body elections. The party will select good candidates who are acceptable to the public and the statements that money is a factor are all rubbish. The DMK is a political party that stands for the people of the state and we cater to the poor and downtrodden and money has never been a criterion for seat selection in our party.”

Tamil Nadu electricity minister and senior leader of the DMK, Senthil Balaji is conducting the selection of candidates in the Coimbatore district while a panel of senior leaders headed by Dayanidhi Maran is in the process of shortlisting candidates in Chennai.

Senior leaders Ma Subramanian, R. Sakkarpani and K. Ponmudi are shortlisting candidates in various districts of the state. Party youth leader and close associate of Udayanidhi Stalin, school education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi also has a significant role in the selection of candidates.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK is conducting the selection process with senior leaders O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami conducting meetings with all the district office-bearers of the party. Senior AIADMK leaders including M.R. Vijayabhaskar, CVe Shanmugham, and C. Vijayabhaskar are involved in the selection process along with other leaders of the party. The AIADMK is also conducting interviews of prospective candidates in all districts with a senior leader participating in each district meeting and shortlisting candidates from the list of applicants. The final selection will be done at the party headquarters in consultation with the district secretaries of the party and the Chief Coordinator and Joint Coordinator of the party.

Senior leader and former Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan and party state General Secretary Karu Nagarajan are involved in the selection of BJP candidates for the civic elections. Party state leaders including H. Raja will be part of the selection process.

Pon Radhakrishnan told IANS: “The BJP is a political party which selects candidates on the basis of party ideology, commitment and the popularity in the concerned area and we are in the process of selecting apt candidates for all the seats.”

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