The truncated local body elections announced by the State Election Commission has resulted in a marked absence of enthusiasm among cadres of Dravidian majors, sources in both the DMK and AIADMK revealed.
“The move has confused the public as they are in the dark as to whom to vote,” said a senior functionary of the ruling party. Vellore panchayat union has only 18 village panchayats represented by 11 councillors as in many cases two panchayats are represented by one councillor as in Venketapuram and Perumugai. “Similarly, though the model poll code has come into effect, there is no clarity as to whether it also applies for urban local bodies which do not face elections,” he added.
Also, businessmen were worried as “there has been no word from the government on carrying cash as no formation of flying and static surveillance squads has been announced yet,” laments KS Venugopal, a local businessman.
With the State Election Commission announcing polls only for rural local bodies, including the village and district panchayats and panchayat union wards and with the Supreme Court announcing that it would pronounce its verdict on local body related cases on December 5, party cadres have played down any initial enthusiasm.
While the DMK was upbeat feeling that if the cases go its way, it would have a good chance to turn the tables on its Dravidian rival as four of the five Assembly segments in Vellore district, including Vellore, Anaicut, Katpadi and Gudiyattam were represented by DMK MLAs. Only the KV Kuppam Assembly segment was with the ruling dispensation.
Another issue that plagues the ruling party in Vellore district was that the posts of urban and rural district secretaries continue to remain vacant despite many pleas to the party high command. This has created a lacuna on whom to approach on local issues as it is such issues which will play a major role in the local body polls, especially urban local bodies.