The adage ‘make hay while the sun shines’ is working in the favour of a few AIADMK district secretaries who are gearing up for the local body polls likely by next month. With the party convenor O Panneerselvam and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami made it clear that AIADMK must face the upcoming civic polls and help alliance partners win their seats, now it is the job of the district secretaries to identify the potential candidates and earmark seats for allies. The sidekicks of the district secretaries are now reaching out to the aspirants and ward level functionaries, allegedly seeking a cut to confirm the party seat for the highest bidder. While young party workers are gearing up to confirm their berths, the old-timers have started revolting against the ‘cuts’. Particularly in Chennai and other parts of north Tamil Nadu, old-timers find that they are vulnerable to the decision of district secretaries. “Indirectly, I was approached with an assured councillor seat for an initial token advance of Rs 5 lakh. Then you must take care of the election expenses and party fund. If no one is ready, then the seat will go to the alliance partners like BJP, PMK or DMDK,” rued a 50-year-old AIADMK senior. “The usual practice by both the DMK and AIADMK district secretaries is to get the seats for their spendthrift loyalists. Now, in the absence of Amma, those with realty and contractor backgrounds have better chances of getting party seats,” rued a former councillor, whose ward is now reserved for women.
— C S Kotteswaran, Chennai