Political parties in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, January 14, urged the State Election Commission (SEC) to conduct elections to the urban local bodies, scheduled to be held next month, in a single-phase. Representatives of different political parties, including DMK, AIADMK, Congress and BJP, met with State Election Commissioner V Palanikumar in Chennai and urged the SEC to hold the polls in a single phase. The representatives also wanted the SEC to hold the election in strict compliance with the government COVID-19 safety norms.
Urban local body elections are scheduled to be held in Tamil Nadu in February, after a gap of six years. The Election Commission has planned to hold elections to 21 corporations, 138 municipalities and 498 town panchayats across Tamil Nadu.
Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru said the Tamil Nadu government is prepared to hold the elections and that it had already communicated to the SEC about the possible election dates. Speaking to reporters after inspecting a railway overpass in Chennai, he said, "it is up to the Election Commission to announce the elections schedule."
Meanwhile, the AIADMK and its alliance partner BJP urged the SEC to draft central paramilitary forces for the smooth conduct of the elections and for the strict implementation of law and order in the state.
AIADMK leader Pollachi V Jayaraman told the media after the meeting, "We have urged the SEC to deploy central paramilitary forces at the sensitive booths for the smooth conduct of the elections. We have also requested the commission to take into account the campaign timings as it would be difficult for workers to return home after 10 pm due to the pandemic restrictions."
Ahead of the polls, which is likely to be held in February after a gap of six years, the SEC had finalised the voters' list.