AIADMK joint convenor and Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam has cautioned both Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his Deputy O Panneerselvam to ponder over the conduct of local body polls.
The critical comments by the senior leader at the closed-door meeting at party headquarters had been welcomed by several party senior functionaries.
“Winning the bypolls is easy as the focus area is small, but the civic polls are held for more than 1 lakh posts and of these 12,000 posts will be the crucial deciding ruling party in local bodies,” said an AIADMK MLA admitting that the views of Vaithilingam were politically correct.
In the absence of charismatic Amma (Jayalalithaa) fighting the civic polls will be a herculean task and any adverse result will weaken the party giving political mileage for the DMK, the MLA added.
Ousted AIADMK leader KC Palaniswami also welcomed the views of Vaithilingam and explained that the party will find it difficult to shortlist the potential list of mayor candidates. Tamil Nadu now has 15 municipal corporations to be headed by mayors.
“In my view, selecting the right candidates will be a tough job for any party. In the case of Chennai mayor post, the party should select a candidate with clean image and public appeal,” opined former legislator Ku Srinivasan, endorsing the views of party senior Vaithilingam.
The grapevine is that the state government is now planning to push back the local body elections to the post of mayors and municipal chairmen. The possibility of adopting an ordinance favouring the indirect elections to the top posts of local bodies was also discussed among the AIADMK Ministers, party insiders told DT Next. The AIADMK is also planning to share more seats at municipal and rural panchayat ward levels to hold the maximum urban seats for its party workers.