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Much delayed local body election on Dec 27, 30
Tamil Nadu

Much delayed local body election on Dec 27, 30

S.Murari

The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (SEC) announced on Monday that the much delayed elections to local bodies will be held in two phases, first for panchayats and, municipalities on Dec 27 and 30.

In the second phase, indirect elections to mayors and municipality chairmen will be held on Jan 11,” State Election Commissioner R Palaniswamy told reporters in Chennai. He said poll dates for the urban local bodies would be announced later due to administrative reasons.

Filing of nominations for rural local bodies would begin on Dec 6 and end on Dec 13. Scrutiny would take places on Dec 16 and the last date for withdrawals would be Dec 18. Counting of votes would be taken up on Jan 2, 2020.

The notification would be issued on Dec 6 and model conduct of conduct would come into effect from that day. He said ballot method will be followed in grama panchayat elections.

Even now it is not certain whether the elections will be held as scheduled as the main opposition DMK has moved the Supreme Court alleging that there has been no proper delimitation of wards especially in newly created districts of Tenkasi, Kallakurichi,Tirupattur, Ranipet and Chengalpettu.

Leaders of the ruling AIADMK, including Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami have said the DMK is afraid of facing people and that is why it has moved the court for a direction that polls should be held only after proper delimitation of wards.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on Thursday a fresh plea of the DMK seeking a direction to the Election Commission to complete formalities such as delimitation of constituencies and reservation aspects before going ahead with the Panchayat and local body election in Tamil Nadu.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde took note of the submissions of senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the DMK, that the plea needed to be heard urgently as the poll panel had announced elections. Singhvi said the poll process had been set in motion “without concluding the legal formalities” with regard to delimitation exercise and reservation aspects in the upcoming elections.

“List it for hearing on Thursday,” the bench, which also comprised Justice BR Gavai and Justice Surya Kant, said. The DMK president M K Stalin initially objected to the indirect election of mayors of corporations and chairpersons of town panchayats and municipalities by ward members. Then dropped it after the AIADMK pointed out that such indirect election was held during the DMK rule also.

The local body poll was earlier scheduled to be held in October 2016 but was stayed by the Supreme Court after the DMK filed a plea to postpone it till reservation and delimitation of wards were completed.

The local body polls are likely to witness a multi-cornered contest as besides the AIADMK and the DMK and their allies, other parties like the AMMK of TTV Dinakaran and Makkal Needhi Maiam of actor-politician Kamal Haasan are also planning to contest.

While the AIADMK-led front includes the BJP, PMK, TMC, DMDK and NJP, the DMK-led front has Congress, the two left parties, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Marumalarchi DMK, the IUML and the India Jananayaga of Katchi of SRM University chairman Pachamuthu.