NAMAKKAL: With Tamil Nadu government announcing a switch to indirect elections to pick heads of local bodies, state BJP cadres, who were hoping to contest at least two mayoral posts through direct poll mode, are now sceptical about the party's prospects in the yet-to-be-announced elections.
According to party sources, the national party has sufficient vote base in areas that come under Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nagarkoil, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli corporations. The BJP had sought two mayor posts among these corporations from its ally AIADMK.
Soon after an ordinance announcing indirect elections for electing heads of local bodies were announced, the opposition DMK swung into action criticising the move. BJP leaders expressed their dissent too.
Senior BJP leader Vanathi Srinivasan said, "Introducing indirect elections is wrong. That is the official stand of BJP. We made this clear sometime back. We are now hoping that BJP will get a maximum number of seats in the upcoming elections."
Refusing to comment anything about National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which AIADMK is part of, Srinivasan said, "Our high command will take a final decision. But, anyway, we will convey our suggestions to our leaders. Still, AIADMK is part of NDA."
Several cadres said that their party contested individually in 2011 local body elections and won number of seats in these districts.
"Hence, this time, we planned to tie-up with AIADMK and get at least two mayor seats. But, AIADMK has shuttered all the dreams by announcing indirect elections," a cadre told TNIE.
The cadres accused AIADMK of taking a unilateral decision despite being an ally and said, "As soon as the agenda was introduced, we insisted BJP National President Amit shah among other seniors to part from the alliance."
They also pointed out instances of confrontations during Vikravandi and Nanguneri by-polls between cadres of the two parties.
"BJP leadAccording to party sources, the national party has sufficient vote base in areas that come under Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nagarkoil, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli corporations.ers were not called for campaigning in these two assembly constituencies even while they invited small party leaders. Not only this, AIADMK government ordered to issue pattas for those who occupied temple lands, as against their initial stand. So, most of the members in BJP wanted to contest in local body elections individually," another cadre said.
However, senior leader L Ganesan supported the AIADMK for switching to indirect poll formula.
Though the State Election Commission is yet to announce dates for the local body polls, works on the ground is underway by the SEC as well as political parties.
According to the ordinance passed by the state government, mayors of corporations, chairmen of municipalities, presidents of panchayats would be selected by elected counsellors.