Six months after voters gave an overwhelming mandate to the AIADMK to rule the State, the electorate in 10 Municipal Corporations will decide on Monday who should take charge of the local bodies.

Over 84 lakh voters in cities will vote to elect 10 Mayors from 209 contestants in the fray. There were only six Corporations in the State in 2006, but Tirupur, Erode, Vellore and Tuticorin were upgraded as city councils during the DMK regime.

In the past, without any exception, the political combination that won the Assembly elections went on to sweep the local body elections.

But, unlike in the past, in this election, prominent political parties including the ruling AIADMK are going it alone, making for a multi-corned contest. And unlike in the Assembly poll scene, the AIADMK does not have in its fold actor Vijayakant's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and the two Left parties that were part of the combination.

In a last ditch-effort, DMDK and the CPI (M) created a new front, roping in the CPI. Though the electoral battle has clearly been polarised between the two Dravidian parties, — the AIADMK and the DMK — the DMDK and the PMK have sought to project themselves as an alternative.