Coimbatore

AIADMK sweeps all 12 PUs in Coimbatore

District panchayat councillors greeting chairperson-elect A. Santhimathy at the Coimbatore Collectorate on Saturday.

District panchayat councillors greeting chairperson-elect A. Santhimathy at the Coimbatore Collectorate on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: S_SIVA SARAVANAN

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Cross voting and absence of DMK councillors help the ruling party

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Independent panchayat union councillors on Saturday helped the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam make a clean sweep of all the 12 panchayat unions in the district.

At the start of the day, the AIADMK was sure of winning the chairperson posts in eight panchayat unions, given its strength in the union councils. The DMK, by virtue of having more union councillors, was expected to win Pollachi South. And, a contest was expected only in Madukkarai, Sulthanpet and Anamalai unions.

But as it turned out, DMK union councillors helped the AIADMK win the chairperson posts in Madukkarai and Anamalai and Independent councillor tilted the scales in favour of the ruling party in Sulthanpet.

In the six-seat Madukkarai panchayat Union, the AIADMK and the DMK had three councillors each. Soon after the results, both the parties said they had established contacts with the rival camp. But it was the AIADMK that had the last laugh as two of the three DMK councillors did not turn up for the election on Saturday morning.

This left the floor open for the AIADMK to win the chairperson post and B. Udhayakumari did so without even seeing a contest. The only DMK union councillor who was present, R. Prakash, later got the vice chairperson post.

In the 13-ward Anamalai panchayat Union, the AIADMK's K. Santhi won by getting nine votes. Her party had five councillors and had the support of a BJP councillor. The DMK had four councillors and the support of a Congress councillor.

Congress vote for AIADMK

But during the elections, the two Independents supported Ms. Santhi and so did the lone Congress councillor, leaving the DMK wondering what sort of a coalition norm the party followed. The three votes helped her get nine votes.

In Sulthanpet panchayat Union, the AIADMK had five councillors and the support of the lone DMDK councillor to take its tally to six in the 13-ward union council. It had matched the DMK's six, leaving the lone Independent union councillor a king maker. As it turned out, the Independent, P. Manoharan, was a rebel AIADMK candidate. This, the AIADMK sources said, gave it an edge in the union council.

And, the AIADMK's K. Rathinam, widow of former MLA R. Kanagaraj, won the chairperson’s post by getting seven votes. The Independent councillor, Manoharan won the vice chairperson post.

But the DMK union councillors reserved the best of the election day in Pollachi South panchayat Union. The party was expected to win the chairperson post easily as it had eight of the 13 posts, leaving the AIADMK with the rest.

Losing despite majority

In short, it was the only union where the DMK had a clear majority and could have prevented the AIADMK from having a clean sweep in union chairperson election.

But by 11.30 a.m., it was the AIADMK's P. Lakshmi who emerged victorious getting seven votes. The DMK's Chitra could get only five votes.

DMK sources said that two councillors had cross-voted and another turned up late and so was marked absent.

The election to the post of district panchayat chairperson turned out to be easy for the AIADMK as it had won 10 of the 17 seats.

The party had nominated district panchayat ward 7 councillor A. Santhimathi for the post and she was elected unopposed.

The district panchayat vice chairperson post, however, saw a contest but AIADMK's Amul Kandasamy won it hands down.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 12:22:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/aiadmk-sweeps-all-12-pus-in-coimbatore/article30546166.ece

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