The results of indirect election to local body heads held on Saturday show that the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK are in a neck and neck race .
Rural local body elections were held in 27 districts on Dec 27 and 30. In the indirect election of chairmen and presidents of panchayats and panchayat unions held on Saturday, these office-bearers were elected by ward councilors. So the same trend is reflected with AIADMK and the DMK getting their nominees elected by their ward councilors wherever they have won the majority of wards.
A total of 27 presidents and vice-presidents of district panchayats . Besides, chairpersons and vice chairpersons were elected by respective ward councillors in 314 panchayat unions and municipal unions.
The AIADMK has captured 14 out of 27 districts and the DMK 12. The remaining Sivaganga district has seen a tie with the two parties eight each . Chairpersons and vice chairpersons will be held by draw of lots in that district.
The AIADMK has dominated the the Vanniar heartland in northern districts like Cuddalore, Villupuram and Dharmapuri where its alliance with the PMK paid rich dividends. It has also done well in western Kongu belt of Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Erode and Coimbatore besides the Thevar belt south of Madurai in districts like Theni and Bodi on Kerala border.
The DMK has dominated in Cuddallore where it has shared honours evenly, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and the delta districts of Thanjavur, TIruvarur, Nagapatinam and Tiruchi, besides Madurai also. Further down south it has won in Dindigul. Likewise, it has swept Nilgiris while the AIADMK has won handsomely in the plains and in Coimbatore.
In deep south, the AIADMK has won in Thoothukudi, and Tirunelveli,while the DMK has won in Virudhanagar. In Kanyakumari, the AIADMK has won at the expense of Congress, a weak ally of the DMK.
Elections to urban local bodies will be held in February and the DMK, being an urban-based party, is expected to do well.
If these results are any indication, the 2021 Assembly election will see a see-saw battle unless the trend change by then..
It will be a do or die battle for DMK president M K Stalin. If he fails to unseat the AIADMK which is without its top leader J Jayalalitha, another chance may not come his way.