Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu rural local body polls: DMK views results as a prelude to 2021 win

DMK president M.K. Stalin addressing the media at Anna Arivalayam.   | Photo Credit: M_VEDHAN

The initial outcome and the trends of the rural local body elections have not only disproved the perception that the ruling party normally sweeps the local body polls, but have also boosted the DMK’s hopes of the wheel of fortune turning in its favour in the 2021 Assembly election.

As an immediate impact, its performance has helped the DMK dispel the notion that it was afraid of facing the local body polls. The election has also proved that the party has the advantage of vibrant grassroots-level organisation, though it had lost two consecutive Assembly polls in 2011 and 2016. “The people’s dissatisfaction and anger with the government have manifested themselves in the election. In fact, they were angry with the DMK for not having dislodged the government. Since they were not aware of the consequences of the anti-defection law, they were asking why the DMK, with 100 MLAs, had not ousted the government. Now, they have voted for us because they have come to the conclusion that the AIADMK will not continue in power,” contended DMK MLA and former Chennai Mayor Ma. Subramanian. Though the DMK swept the last Lok Sabha election, the outcome of the byelections to the 22 Assembly constituencies came as a disappointment to the party, since it was unable to muster the numbers to remove the AIADMK from power.While there is a view that the ruling party could have swept the local body polls were they held in 2016, a few months after the Assembly polls, the AIADMK government had delayed holding the polls after former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death, since it appeared unconfident of its support base.


Eventually, it was pressure from the judiciary that forced the government to announce the elections – that too in phases and by switching to the indirect mode of elections for key posts.

“Voters know that the DMK is going to capture power in 2021. The outcome is an indication of our victory,” Mr. Subramanian argued.

Court pleas

The DMK, by approaching the courts in connection with the delimitation of wards and reservation, created an impression that it was not prepared to enter the fray. But its constant petitions to the SEC and other officials seemed to have created a desired effect. “In fact, our efforts have restrained officials and prevented them from committing irregularities in favour of the ruling party,” contended former Minister Thangam Thennarasu. He said the outcome of the rural local body polls was a prelude to the DMK’s victory in the 2021 Assembly polls.


P. Sattanathan, a Congressman, said the results were more of a reflection of the people’s anger against the AIADMK establishment than of their support for the DMK in rural areas. On whether this will pave the way for the DMK’s victory in 2021, he said it all depended on how the alliance formation is pursued.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 11:00:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-rural-local-body-polls-dmk-views-results-as-a-prelude-to-2021-win/article30465043.ece

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