While polls to rural local bodies are completed, indirect elections to local body chairpersons are still pending.

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news Politics Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 10:51

Tamil Nadu Opposition allies, DMK and Congress, have publicly sparred over seat-sharing in the local body polls, as talks broke down a day ahead of indirect polling for key local body posts.

In signs of discord in the DMK-led alliance, its national ally, the Congress, on Friday alleged that it has not been allotted a fair number of posts of local body chiefs by the DMK, stating that this was against ‘coalition dharma’.

The public display of displeasure by the state Congress against the DMK came a day ahead of the indirect elections to the posts of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of rural local bodies in 27 districts.

The Congress said the party faced the rural local body polls held in two phases in December 2019, without any formal agreement right from the start, ‘but there was no cooperation at the district level.’

“Of the 27 district panchayat chief posts, not even one, not even that of a vice president has been given to us so far. We regret to inform that this is against coalition dharma,” TNCC President KS Alagiri and Congress Legislature Party leader KR Ramasamy said in a joint statement.

Same was the case with panchayat union posts, where the party has been allotted just two of the 303 posts, they added.

They alleged the Congress has been denied opportunity in seats that were even recommended by the DMK leadership apparently to the district-level functionaries.

In close contested polls to rural civic bodies in 27 districts in Tamil Nadu held on December 27 and 30, the opposition DMK and its allies edged out the ruling AIADMK to the second spot.

The indirect election, where voters elect people who are then chosen to the posts of heads of the local bodies, are set to be held on Saturday. Interestingly, in recent weeks, the ruling party coalition also sparred with the PMK, which expressed its disappointment over local body seat-sharing with the AIADMK.

(With PTI inputs)