Chennai: The ruling DMK-led front seems to have an upper hand in the February 19 Tamil Nadu urban local body polls.
The last day for submission of nomination papers ended on Friday February 4.
The AIADMK-led front is affected mainly by two of its major allies BJP and PMK deciding to go it alone in the polls. Notably, both these parties were a part of the AIADMK in the 2019 general elections and 2021 Assembly elections. The PMK had, however, snapped ties with the AIADMK in the rural local body elections to nine districts of the state held in October 2021.
The DMK front, however, faced a revolt in Coimbatore district with its allies CPI and CPM deciding to go it alone at Kanampalayam Town panchayath. The Kongu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK), another ally of DMK has also extended support to the CPM, CPI alliance in Kannampalayam town panchayath. This, according to observers is the only setback for the DMK in the urban local body elections.
Dr Uma Maheswari, Political analyst and a Professor of Political Science in a private college in Chennai while speaking to IANS said: “DMK led front definitely has an edge. Two things are there for this with the first one being the advantage a ruling front will have in the local body elections and the second one is the better and more cohesive alliance the DMK is having with the AIADMK alliance tattering after the departure of the BJP and the PMK. These factors give DMK led front a big edge and the performance of Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin has to be appreciated at this juncture and the AIADMK does not have the strength to pose a major threat to the DMK in the local body elections.”
While the Chief Minister has insisted that the DMK allocate most of the women reserved seats to party leaders and not to theie kin, it has not been taken into consideration in most parts of the state. Several close relatives of senior district functionaries of the DMK were provided seats including wives, daughters, and nieces while the party women leaders were sidelined.
Meanwhile, the AIADMK leaders and former Chief Ministers O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami who are leading the campaign for the party will hit the election campaign from February 7 onwards. Sources in the AIADMK told IANS that both the leaders would tour the state extensively.
Actor-turned-politician and former opposition leader of the state assembly Vijayakant is contesting the elections on his own. The Makkal Needhi Maiam of superstar-turned-politician Kamal Haasan and the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) of actor-turned-politician Seeman will also be contesting the elections on their own.
The Congress and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) are in the DMK alliance and are comfortable in the seat allocation while MDMK, another ally of DMK had certain issues in the seat allocation. However, sources in DMK told IANS that the Vaiko-led party will come in terms with the reality and will contest in the DMK alliance.
With the election day approaching, the DMK-led front seems to have the edge in the elections to the Urban local body polls that are being conducted after a gap of ten years.