Battlefield Tamilnadu gets ready for civic polls

Chennai: Months after the Lok Sabha elections which were accompanied by by-polls to 18 Assembly constituencies and weeks after Vikravandi and Nanguneri by-elections, Tamilnadu is getting ready for another battle, this time in the form of local body polls.

Pending for more than two years, civic polls, as per indications, will be conducted before the end of this year. No prizes for guessing that the main contestants are going to be the ruling AIADMK and the main opposition DMK.

The two Dravidian majors, if sources are to be believed, have already started groundwork and the respective high commands have given instructions to office-bearers to take ‘all steps’ to ensure victory.

Strategies for the local body elections are also to be discussed at the general council meetings of the AIADMK (24 November) and the DMK (10 November).

”Our victory in Nanguneri and Vikravandi has given a lot of motivation to our cadres at all levels. We are keen to continue the good show in civic polls as well. Our leaders are planning to announce prizes to those who fetch maximum number of votes in their wards,” says an AIADMK functionary, adding: ”There is no wave against the government. In fact, people are happy with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s governance, as there are no power cuts, law and order is being maintained well and there are no wrongdoings like land grabbing. We will highlight these points during our campaigns and win votes.”

A DMK office-bearer in Thiruvallur district says, ”many have lost their jobs and prices of essentials are skyrocketing. The government has failed to fulfil even the basic needs. We had a ‘seyal veerargal‘ meeting recently and discussed strategies to win the civic polls, like how we emerged victorious in Lok Sabha elections.”

However, it looks like both the AIADMK and the DMK would face a major challenge from their own alliance partners.

According to sources, the BJP is planning to demand two Mayor seats from the AIADMK. Ramadoss’ PMK and Vijayakanth’s DMDK, which too are in the AIADMK alliance, are known for their tough bargaining tactics and are planning to get good number of seats from city Corporations to village Panchayats. In the DMK camp, it will be a difficult task to satisfy the Congress, as the national party, with its multiple factions, is not going to settle for less. The DMK will also have to cater to the MDMK, CPI, CPI(M) and VCK etc.

Meanwhile, State Election Commission sources say a formal announcement on civic polls can be expected by the middle of this month. And, TN is waiting.

M Bhaskar Sai