Chennai: Ruling DMK is leading the urban local body polls In Tamil Nadu that were conducted today after a gap of a decade. The BJP has split from AIADMK, the main opposition in the state, and is contesting alone. The results would be seen as a report card on Chief Minister MK Stalin’s nine-month performance.
Out of the total 1,374 corporation wards in the state, DMK has so far won 57 and the main opposition AIADMK 7 and others 8. The DMK’s allies Congress has won 7 and CPI(M) 2, according to the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission. Actor turned political Kamal Haasan’s party MNM hopes to open its account after two poll defeats.
The voting turnout was 60.7 percent.
In municipalities (total ward member seats 3,843), the DMK has bagged 248 and AIADMK 79 and others 53. As regards town panchayats, the AIADMK has won 354 wards and the DMK 1,251.
Urban civic polls were held on February 19 and counting of votes started at 8 am in the state in 268 centers.
21 cities including the capital Chennai, 138 municipalities, and 490 town panchayats will elect more than 12,000 members. Over the last five years, these bodies did not have elected representatives as elections were not held.
This is the first poll after MK Stalin became Chief Minister. He’s trying for a fourth consecutive victory in these polls for his party. The AIADMK is attempting to revive after three successive poll defeats.
This time, the ruling DMK has taken up national issues of federalism and state autonomy. Chief Minister MK Stalin has even launched a federation for social justice in a bid to bring together several non-BJP parties from across India.
The state has 30,735 polling booths, 5,960 o these have been marked sensitive. 1.13 lakh security personnel including the police and home guards have been deployed.
AIADMK has alleged irregularities in polling. It also targeted DMK for not fulfilling the promise of providing ₹ 1,000 monthly.
The Madras High Court today turned down the AIADMK’s plea for deploying paramilitary forces for the elections.
Poll results in Coimbatore will be subject to the court’s verdict in a cash-for-vote case, the Madras High Court has ruled.