A glimpse of 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls in the civic polls photo finish, says expert
This was yet another electoral test for both the AIADMK and DMK after the passing of their respective stalwarts in Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi. Though, the rural pockets of Tamil Nadu are considered to be AIADMK’s backyard, the DMK put up a strong show there. Analysts believe that the “mixed mandate” is a good indicator of the 2021 Assembly poll.Updated: Jan 03, 2020 21:19 IST
The DMK has maintained a slender lead over the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu civic polls for the rural panchayats even as a few results remain pending by Friday evening. The tight contest is being seen as a sign of things to come in the state elections next year.
Despite claims, no party could sweep the rural civic polls conducted three years after the assembly polls this time, unlike in the past, when the civic polls were held right after the assembly polls giving the ruling party a landslide win.
By Friday evening 6.30 pm, the DMK had won 2338 Union Panchayat Councilor posts, closely followed by 2185 wins for the AIADMK. TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam was third with 444 victories out of a total of 5067 Union Panchayat Councilors posts that were voted for.
The DMK has also won 270 District Panchayat Councilor posts with the AIADMK winning 242 out of a total of 515 posts that went to the polls.
The two-phased elections held on December 27 and 30, also saw a contest for 9624 Village Panchayat President posts and 76746 Village Panchayat Ward member positions but they were not fought on party basis.
This was yet another electoral test for both the AIADMK and DMK after the passing of their respective stalwarts in Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi. Though, the rural pockets of Tamil Nadu are considered to be AIADMK’s backyard, the DMK put up a strong show there. Analysts believe that the “mixed mandate” is a good indicator of the 2021 Assembly poll.
“Given the current trend, the 2021 contest would not be a cakewalk for both the AIADMK and DMK. For, there are other factors like Tamil matinee icon Rajinikanth’s likely entry into the fray,” said Professor G Palanithurai, former head, Rajiv Gandhi Chair for Panchayat Raj Studies, Gandhigram University.
DMK President MK Stalin however, claimed the mandate was against the ruling party.
“The ruling party has abused official machinery and pumped in money to defeat DMK. However, the people have given a majority to the DMK which is clear proof that it is a mandate against the ruling party. Even after the TN ministers had camped at several districts, the kin and kith of AIADMK MLAs are losing in the elections,” Stalin said in a statement.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and his deputy O Panneerselvam (OPS) too claimed victory.
“After the demise of our party supremo J Jayalalithaa, we have been facing several setbacks and crisis. But, due to the party workers’ support, we have been thwarting all the challenges. The AIADMK candidates have won in huge numbers in the civic polls. We urge the party workers to work further to reap a rich harvest in the upcoming elections,” EPS and OPS said in a joint statement.