TN political parties campaign extensively for rural local body polls

Political parties in Tamil Nadu are campaigning extensively for the rural local body polls to be held in two phases on October 6 and October 9.

The polls are to be held in nine districts of the state — Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Ranipet, Tiruppatur, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi.

The DMK has a lot at stake as it has to prove that its 2021 Assembly election win was due to the people’s support towards the programmes and policies put forward by the party. Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is directly leading the campaign, which is being executed at the grassroots levels by the district office-bearers of the party.

The AIADMK is also active in the fight and with reports coming up of a power feud within the party between Panneerselvam and K. Palanisami. The party, which is in a political alliance with the BJP, is facing tough times following the minority communities coming out against it in several areas of the state.

Recently Congress leader Karti Chidambaram said that unless the AIADMK snaps ties with the BJP, the party will face defeats in the elections.

The PMK has already announced that it will contest the elections on its own indicating that all is not well on the AIADMK alliance front.

The DMK is also cautiously moving in the Northern parts of Tamil Nadu, where the PMK and the Vanniyar community have a sizeable presence. The DMK government has already issued the Government Order (G.O) for the 10.5 per cent reservation for the Vanniyar community within the Most Backward Caste (MBC) quota.

The PMK has, however, come out with the statement that it has not snapped its ties with the NDA and that as the time was short for the rural local body elections after the announcements, it could not reach a consensus on seat-sharing with the allies.

The local leaders and state leaders of the DMK, AIADMK, BJP, PMK, and other parties are actively campaigning at the grassroots level in the nine districts.

The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), led by Superstar turned politician, Kamal Haasan will also have to prove the party’s standing in the state politics. The actor-politician himself campaigned in several constituencies. The party is also going it alone in the polls.

The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) leader and actor turned politician Vijayakanth has also announced that his party would contest alone in the local body elections. This has made the contest wide open as in certain pockets these parties have their strongholds and matinee idols have always been a major vote catchers in Tamil Nadu.

R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai while speaking to IANS said, “The rural local body polls in the nine districts of Tamil Nadu will find the interesting and tough contest and almost all the main political parties, as well as splinter groups, are actively campaigning as there are huge developments taking place at the panchayat level and the parties do not want to be left out from these.

“The recent announcement of PMK that it would go alone in the polls has upset the AIADMK calculations in North Tamil Nadu. The DMK seems to have an edge as the party in power in the state will definitely have a clear edge in rural and panchayat elections,” said Padmanabhan.