DMK engages allies in talks, as oppn parties too, gear up for TN urban civic polls

  • | Friday | 28th January, 2022

Chennai, Jan 28 (PTI) With merely 21 days left for the urban civic bodies polls in Tamil Nadu, being held amid a marginal decline in Coronavirus infections, political parties in the state began the exercise of marking out the contours of winnable seats. The ruling DMK which ended the decade-long rule of the AIADMK in the April 2021 Assembly election, hopes to maintain its winning streak and on Friday the Dravidian major engaged its key ally the Congress in talks to identify the seats. TNCC chief K S Alagiri who held a discussion with the DMK led by its president and Chief Minister M K Stalin, claimed that the parleys commenced on a pleasant note. "Talks between the two parties are apace at district level and the list of candidates will be announced by the respective district presidents of the party soon," Alagiri said. He exuded confidence that the DMK would concede all the seats that his party seeks from it. Earlier, the DMK president who heads the Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in the state, held discussions with party seniors on facing the urban civic bodies elections. Opposition AIADMK, too, braced for the polls and its leaders O Panneerselvam, party coordinartor, and K Palaniswami, co-coordinator, held a consultative meeting with party seniors on identifying the candidates and seats. BJP state chief K Annamalai too conferred with party leaders on facing the elections. The Vijayakanth-led DMDK claimed that the political parties were left with hardly little time to prepare for the elections. Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan, founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam, released the third list of his party"s candidates for the single phase poll. On Friday, State Election Commissioner V Palanikumar reviewed the arrangements for conducting a free and fair poll and briefed the officials and election observers on strictly following the SoP issued on conducting the elections with COVID-19 safety protocol in place. Also, he directed the officials to make sure that the voters exercised their franchise freely without any apprehensions. State Election Commission secretary E Sundaravalli was also among the officials who participated. The candidates of major political parties are expected to file their nomination papers next week, though the process of filing nominations for the February 19 election commenced today. Filing of papers will end on February 4 and February 7 is the last date for withdrawal. The papers will be scrutinised on February 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on February 22 and the election process will be completed by February 24, the SEC had earlier announced. The ordinary election will be held for 21 corporations, 138 municipalities, 490 town panchayats and 649 urban local bodies in Tamil Nadu. The model code of conduct has come into force. Of the 200 wards in Greater Chennai Corporation, 16 each have been reserved for Scheduled Caste (general) and SC (women) while 84 are reserved for women (general). PTI JSP BN BN

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