T. Ramakrishnan

More than 20% of the wards in three categories won by them

CHENNAI: Independents are likely to play a crucial role in the election of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of many municipalities, town panchayats and panchayat unions with a large number of them making it to the local bodies.

The elections for the posts will be held on October 28. All elected councillors will have to take the oath on October 25, according to the State Election Commission schedule.

An analysis of the data furnished by the Commission on the election outcome reveals that the independents have won, on an average, a little more than 20 per cent of the total number of wards in the three categories of the local bodies.

Of the 8,780 wards in 561 town panchayats, independents have the largest share of the cake 2,776 wards. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the biggest party, bagged 2,639 wards.

Of the total of 983 wards in 50 third grade municipalities, independents cornered 205 wards, representing about 21 per cent. Of the 3,391 wards in 102 municipalities, they have grabbed 620 wards, accounting for about 18 per cent of the seats. In respect of panchayat union wards, they have won 990 out of 6,569 wards in 385 panchayat unions.

It is in municipal corporations and district panchayats that the dependence on independents will be less felt as their performance is not that impressive.

In five municipal corporations (excluding Chennai), independents have won 26 out of 318 wards and in the 29 district panchayats, only three of them have won in 656 wards.

Totally, 4,620 independents have been elected. However, an SEC official says that the role of the independents will be crucial in not many municipalities, going by a cursory look at the results.

Elected unopposed

According to State Election Commissioner D. Chandrasekaran, 25 persons were elected unopposed in third grade municipalities; 30 in municipalities; 402 in town panchayats; 68 in panchayat unions and about 17,330 in village panchayat wards. Six hundred and twenty eight village panchayat presidents won without contest.

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