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Rural local body polls: Decision to go solo might hurt both AIADMK, PMK

The PMK’s strength is the Vanniyar vote bank in the northern districts, and seven of the nine districts going to the polls are in north Tamil Nadu.

Published: 17th September 2021 04:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2021 04:40 AM   |  A+A-

AIADMK flags

Representational image for AIAMDK.(File photo| MK Ashok Kumar, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI/VILLUPURAM: The PMK’s decision to go alone in the upcoming rural local body polls in nine districts will put a damper on both the PMK and the AIADMK, say political observers and PMK functionaries. The PMK’s strength is the Vanniyar vote bank in the northern districts, and seven of the nine districts going to the polls are in north Tamil Nadu. So the party’s decision could worry the AIADMK. However, PMK cadre in the region feel that despite their party’s strength, an alliance with the AIADMK is needed to bag enough votes to win.

“During the last rural local body polls, we bagged only 16 district councillors’ posts out of 515 seats, and 217 union councillors’ posts out of 5,090 seats despite the alliance with AIADMK. Now, if we contest alone, I can’t even imagine how bad it will be,” said a former union councillor of the PMK in Kallakurichi district. 

While AIADMK leaders reacted sharply to the PMK’s decision to contest alone, the PMK maintained it is still a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). PMK State Deputy Secretary Thanga Jothi played down the issue saying it has been the party’s tradition to face the local body polls alone. “We don’t want to comment,” Jothi said when asked about the AIADMK leaders’ statements.

A few other PMK cadre, however, said the party’s decision is a “betrayal” as the AIADMK offered a Rajya Sabha seat to PMK leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss though the alliance lost in the Parliamentary election. They felt the chances of winning many seats would reduce for both the PMK and the AIADMK.

AIADMK Villupuram north district Secretary Esalam Panneer recalled how the previous AIADMK regime brought in a 10.5 per cent special reservation for Vanniyars. “We lost certain Assembly seats in the region due to our alliance with the PMK. This resulted in the Dalit community deserting us. With the PMK not with us, we have a better chance of winning in the local body polls,” he said.

Besides the PMK, the John Pandian-led TMMK too said it would not contest alongside the AIADMK. The party has a minor influence in Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts, which will be facing the rural local body polls. This leaves the alliance with only the AIADMK and BJP as the major players.

16 District councillors’ posts out of 515 seats bagged by the PMK during the last rural local body elections


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