Tamil Nadu

AIADMK symbol left out of by-elections to wards of local bodies

Well before the Election Commission of India (ECI) takes up for consideration AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam’s representation against the manner in which the June 23 general council meeting and Monday’s meeting of the party headquarters functionaries were held, the party’s ‘two leaves’ symbol has been elbowed out of the July 9 by-elections to 34 wards of rural and urban local bodies.

The reason is not far to seek. The tussle between Mr. Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami over the issue of the replacement of dual leadership with single leadership has created a situation wherein the two leaders have not issued the required forms [for contesting on behalf of the party] to anyone. As a result, party members, keen on contesting in the by-elections, have been compelled to face the electorate as Independents, according to sources in both camps.

The 34 wards — 12 in urban local bodies and 22 in rural local bodies — will be going to the bypolls next month, along with 476 other wards of rural local bodies. In respect of the first set of wards, political parties can field their candidates, while the others will have party-less contests. Except for village panchayat wards and village panchayat presidents, elections for other posts are held on party lines.

As far as the State Election Commission (SEC) is concerned, the AIADMK is one of the 11 recognised parties with symbols reserved for them. There are two sets of free symbols, each having 30 symbols. While one set is earmarked for the wards of panchayat unions, town panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations, the other is meant for the wards of district panchayats.

According to the schedule announced by the SEC, Monday was the last date for submission of nominations for the by-elections. The nominations were taken up for scrutiny on Tuesday. On the last day for withdrawal of nominations (June 30), the allotment of free symbols will be finalised, says a senior official of the SEC.

Meanwhile, a leader of the Palaniswami camp said his side would shortly submit its response to Mr. Panneerselvam’s representation to the ECI. The venue of the general council proposed for July 11 would be a marriage hall at Vanagaram near Chennai where the party held its general council last week, the leader added.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2022 7:06:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aiadmk-symbol-left-out-of-by-elections-to-wards-of-local-bodies/article65576725.ece