Civic chiefs: DMK wants indirect polls?

It is becoming increasingly evident that the ruling party will opt for indirect elections for the posts of civic chiefs.

Published: 21st November 2021 05:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2021 05:37 AM   |  A+A-

DMK Flag

DMK flag (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: It is becoming increasingly evident that the ruling party will opt for indirect elections for the posts of civic chiefs. On Friday, the DMK invited applications from cadres for the upcoming urban local body elections only for councillors posts in corporations, municipalities and town panchayats despite the demands of alliance partners for direct elections (for posts of civic chiefs).

After assuming power in the State earlier this year, the ruling DMK, along with allies, had swept the rural local body elections in nine districts, winning around 90 per cent of seats. The party had claimed that the victory was an “appreciation certificate” given by the people for DMK’s performance. Now, the party has shifted its focus on capturing urban local bodies. 

In this backdrop, on Friday, DMK’s mouthpiece Murasoli had carried statements of certain district secretaries and in-charges seeking applications from cadre only for councillor postings. This created a flutter among DMK allies hoping to get a share of civic chief posts.      

One of the leaders of Left parties told TNIE on condition of anonymity, “At least to maintain the cordial relationship with alliance partners, the ruling DMK should have informed us about this decision (indirect elections). They should have informed us beforehand as it is crucial for election victory and chemistry among cadres. After all, we have to work together on the ground for victory. Chemistry is more important than alliance.” He further warned that if the DMK tries to keep all civic chief postings to itself, then cracks in the alliance would be inevitable.

Another leader of a small alliance party told TNIE, “Before commencing the nomination process, the DMK leadership should ensure seats are shared between all alliance partners. This would help the DMK enjoy the support of all alliance partners.” He added that since bagging all corporations is important, DMK should not antagonise alliance parties.  

One of the State-level functionaries of DMK told TNIE, “Our leadership will take decisions depending on the situation. Already, we have seen some disgruntlement among Chennai voters due to the recent rain despite not being the reason for their plight.” He said another challenge is to make voters understand why Pongal gift hampers will not be given. “We know support of alliance parties is crucial. I hope our leadership addresses the issue.” 

Commenting on the DMK’s move, AIADMK spokesperson AM Babu Murugavel said, “There is no official announcement and no visible signs that an election is coming. But the ruling party has invited applications and this means the State Election Commission is functioning as a puppet of the ruling party.” He added that only AIADMK would win if elections are held in a free and fair manner. But others are of the view that being the ruling party, the DMK is taking steps to face civic elections well in advance.



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