The results of the long overdue rural local body polls in Tamil Nadu indicate a victory for the DMK, the main opposition party in the state, ahead of the ruling AIADMK. The two-phase rural local body elections were held on December 27 and 30 last year and counting began on Thursday. As per the latest results declared as of Thursday, reports state that the DMK alliance leads in 2021 of 5067 panchayat unions while it was the forerunner in 191 of 515 district panchayats.
Initially, the lead trends were alternating between these two parties since Thursday morning when the counting of votes got underway. Early trends showed that the AIADMK had been able to retain its support base in the rural areas despite the major drubbing it suffered at the hands of DMK in the Lok Sabha polls.
According to the State Election Commissioner, a total of 19,734 candidates have been declared elected, including those who won unopposed, to the Gram Panchayat Ward Member posts, 1,141 persons for Gram Panchayat President posts, and 208 for Panchayat Union Ward Member posts.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the vote counting is progressing smoothly. As ballot papers were used for the polls, counting of votes would continue.
On Thursday, the DMK alleged severe irregularities during the counting process and approached the Madras High Court. Party chief MK Stalin met with Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner R Palaniswamy and threatened a protest. The party has claimed that DMK victories in many districts, including Salemâ€” the home district of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamiâ€” were deliberately not being declared. Speaking to reporters in Chennai on Thursday, Stalin said that counting centres were being operated by AIADMK agents, aided by officials and the police department.
A special late night hearing of the DMKâ€™s plea was conducted by Justice M Sathyanarayanan to declare the results of rural local body polls in constituencies where counting had concluded. The TN State Election Commission (SEC) has been asked to reply in this regard with measures taken on counting day.
Refuting Stalinâ€™s charge, Chief Minister Palaniswami said that result declaration was being delayed in areas where his party candidates have won too.
According to the TNSEC, the first phase saw 76.19% polling, while the second phase saw 77.73% turnout.
Over 2.31 lakh candidates contested the polls for 91,975 posts. The posts include Gram Panchayat Ward member, Gram Panchayat President, Panchayat Union ward member and District Panchayat Union Ward member, among others.