The state is all set to witness fresh round of political activities on Saturday with the State Election Commission scheduled to hold indirect elections for the newly elected district panchayat and union panchayat councillors to elect their chairmen and vice-chairmen.
For the elections held with ballot papers to elect 5,090 union panchayat councillors, the DMK won 2,099 seats leaving 1,781 seats for the AIADMK. TNSEC also conducted polls for 515 district panchayat posts and the elected councillors will now elect their municipal chiefs.
Meanwhile, the TNSEC commissioner R Palaniswamy on Friday conducted a high-level meeting with the revenue officials of Kancheepuram and Chengalpet to discuss the delimitation exercise and the conduct of suspended civic polls to urban and rural local bodies.
According to informed sources in both the AIADMK and the DMK circles, districts like Sivaganga, Cuddalore, Kanniyakumari, Ramanathapuram, Tiruvarur, Pudukkottai and Madurai are likely to give tough time during the indirect polls. The district panchayat councils and union panchayat councils in these districts have ended with ties with both the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK bagging equal number of councillor posts.
The AMMK in total had secured 66 councillor posts mostly in these districts and can play a spoilsport for the ruling AIADMK. In case of Cuddalore and Dharmapuri, the ruling AIADMK will have to rely on its sulking ally PMK, which has won considerable councillor seats. In Kanniyakumari, the AIADMK should help the BJP to win the rural local bodies, sources said.
“There is every possibility for cross-voting during indirect polls as the anti-defection law is not applicable for local body representatives,” said Sukumar Babu, former city corporation floor leader.
“The state has around 450 independent and 94 councillors owing allegiance to AMMK, these councillors play a crucial role in tomorrow’s indirect polls,” said AIADMK MLA based in the Delta region. The political parties particularly the AIADMK and the DMK are now racing against each other to prevent horse-trading, the legislator added.
It may be noted that the TNSEC after a period of eight years conducted polls to the rural civic bodies in 27 districts and polls were suspended for nine districts due to delimitation exercise. Poll schedule for municipalities and city corporations are also under hold due to delimitation exercise.