SALEM: Former MLAs of DMK and AIADMK seek councillor seats from Attur Municipality aiming to become the chairman if indirect elections are to be held for the post.
The Attur municipality is 52 km from Salem city and it became a municipality 55 years ago. There are 33 wards with 51,000 voters. For the past five years, the locals have been urging the State Government to bifurcate Salem district and announce Attur as a separate district by joining Narasingapuram municipality and three more nearby taluks.
Municipal Administration Minister K N Nehru had assured to consider upgrading Attur municipality as City Municipal Corporation soon.
Hence, foreseeing indirect elections in Municipality for the chairman post, former DMK MLA K Chinnadurai and former AIADMK Attur MLA R M Chinnathambi sought councillor seats. Chinnadurai sought seats for 26 and 31st wards in Attur Municipality. Likewise, Chinnathambi sought from the 31st ward.
The Attur municipality chairman post was reserved for SCs for the past two terms and is also expected for the third time. Of the 33 wards, seven are dominated by Thuluva Vellalar and Pillai castes and six by SCs. In the rest, the people of Udaiyar, Vanniyar, Vellala Gounder caste play major roles.
A senior DMK functionary told TNIE, "In the recent Assembly Elections, DMK switched its candidate and announced Chinnadurai as candidate suddenly. Chinnadurai belongs to Koodamalai near Gangavalli in Salem district. He served as Gangavalli (SC) Assembly Constituency MLA in 2006-11. In 2011, he lost to a DMDK candidate. Later, the party high command refused him tickets in the 2016 Elections and also 2021 Elections in Gangavalli."
"Due to some caste-based issues, Chinnadurai was again replaced for another candidate in Attur. Due to a last-minute, he lost to AIADMK's AP Jayasankaran. Now, pointing at his loss, he sought a councillor seat to become chairman which the DMK high command has approved. Following this, he shifted his home to Attur and changed his address on the voter list," he added.
An AIADMK functionary said, "Chinnathambi started his political career as a union councillor and then became Attur panchayat union chairman. Later, in 2016 he was given an MLA ticket and won the elections. Now, aiming for chairman post he also shifted his home to Attur municipality from Ramanaickenpalayam and also changed his address in the voter list. Party high command also wants a strong SC candidate to tackle DMK's money power. In the recently concluded elections, AIADMK leads with 7,000 votes in Attur municipality. So, we have a good chance to clinch the Attur municipality."
Chinnathambi confirmed he is seeking a councillor seat from the party. Likewise, DMK Chinnadurai also confirmed he is seeking a councillor seat. "If a direct election is announced, I will ask for a chance for a chairman post too from party high command", he added.