Tamilnadu civic polls: Who is the winner?

Chennai: The results of the just-concluded rural local body elections is both victory and failure for the Dravidian majors– the ruling AIADMK and the main opposition DMK.

By winning almost equal number of seats, these parties have proved that they are strong and steady under their new leaderships, since this is the first civic poll after the demise of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi.

Also, the victory is a big solace for the AIADMK after its poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections and a moral booster for the DMK post its defeat in the Assembly by-polls.

These parties have also proved that they still dominate Tamilnadu politics and new players like AMMK and Naam Tamilar Katchi don’t matter much. Remaining parties like BJP, Congress, PMK, DMDK, CPI, CPI(M), TMC and VCK are either in the alliance of the AIADMK or the DMK.

At the same time, the civic poll results have rung an alarm bell for the 2021 Assembly elections. With just 16 more months left for the big test, the AIADMK and the DMK are not in a position to make a clean sweep in it, if the outcome of local body elections is anything to go by.

The DMK, which won of 38 out of 39 constituencies in the Lok Sabha elections, now stands with little more than 50 per cent local body seats.

The AIADMK, which got a shot in the arm thanks to the victory in Vikravandi and Nanguneri by-polls, has won 2,069 out of 5,090 Ward Member posts in Panchayat unions.

Political pundits feel both the Kazhagams should improve their performance, as top stars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan are expected to throw their hats into the Assembly elections ring.

Meanwhile, the surprise element in the civic polls is the performance by the BJP (which has won decent number of seats) and NTK (which came third in many places). Also, a transwoman, students and elderly women are among the successful candidates with their individual capacities.

Reacting to the results, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam claimed victory and thanked people for reposing their faith in the AIADMK.

”After the demise of our party supremo J Jayalalithaa, we have been facing several setbacks and crisis. But, due to the party workers’ support, we have been thwarting all the challenges.The AIADMK candidates have won in several districts in the civic polls. We urge the party workers to work further hard to reap a rich harvest in the upcoming elections,” they said in a joint statement.

DMK president M K Stalin, in a statement said, despite ruling party abusing official machinery and spending money to defeat DMK, the voters have given a majority against the AIADMK. He said the outcome in favour of the DMK reflected the anti-incumbency mood of the people and this was a precursor to the next year Assembly polls. So, the next target is 2021 for both parties.