Originally scheduled for October 2016, the local body polls have been delayed for more than nine months.

Local body elections not delayed due to two-leaves symbol issue says TN ministerImage: Sellur Raju/ screenshot
news Politics Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 15:27

The local body elections in Tamil Nadu have been delayed for more than nine months but state Co-operatives Minister Sellur Raju on Saturday clarified that the civic body polls were not postponed due to the two leaves issue.

Addressing the media after making arrangements for MGR’s birth centenary celebrations, Selur Raju said, “We are not postponing the local body elections due to the two-leaves symbol issue. Elections are a good time for us, we know we will only win it. The Chief Minister is working for the welfare of the people and people trust Amma’s government. We will definitely face the elections.”

He had said earlier that the two leaves issue is not "significant or a big issue in the present day situation and circumstance". "A symbol can be easily taken to the people using the social media," said Sellur Raju.

In March, the Election Commission had announced the freezing of AIADMK's two leaves symbol after the the two factions, one led by Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami and the other by former CM and rebel O Panneerselvam staked claim to it. Both factions have submitted about 10 lakh affidavits to the Election Commission, claiming to be the real AIADMK.

The civic polls were scheduled for October 2016 but were later put on hold by the Madras High Court, based on a batch of petitions including one filed by the DMK. The High Court passed the orders on the ground that there is “no level playing field available to all parties” and that the state government “did not give sufficient time to other parties to get ready for the elections”. The single judge bench also ordered the state election commission to issue fresh dates for election by December 31, 2016.

In February, a division bench of the Madras HC ordered the state election commission to complete the polls by May 14.

However, the commission asked for more time to conduct the elections.  Last week, the state election commission told the Madras High Court that it was facing practical hindrances to conduct the elections. When the court directed it to conduct the elections by August 31, the commission said without implementing the nine directions issued by the single judge, it was practically impossible to conduct the elections, reported The Times of India.