MK Stalin, migrant workers, north Indian labourers

Stalin thanks people as DMK heads for landslide victory in local body polls

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Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday thanked the people of Tamil Nadu as the DMK-led alliance swept the urban local body elections in all the posts it contested – corporations, municipalities and town panchayats. As of 6pm February 22, the party had registered victory in 856 posts out of 1,374 in corporations, 2,352 posts out of 3,843 in municipalities and 4,387 posts out of 7,621 in town panchayats.

“We have won even in places considered as the ‘forts’ of AIADMK. This is a recognition given by the people for the ‘Dravidian Model’ regime and a certificate for the last nine months of good governance,” Stalin said.

The DMK won in places like Negamam and Thondamuthur (in Coimbatore), the main hold of former AIADMK minister SP Velumani, and Gobichettipalayam, in Erode district, where it last saw victory 40 years ago.

Particularly in Coimbatore, the main city of Kongu region, the DMK secured 55 corporation seats out of 100. That means it can now decide on the mayorship.

The DMK Wass leading in other corporations in Kongu, such as Tiruppur (24/60), Erode (44/60), Karur (42/48) and Salem (41/60). When reporters asked Stalin when mayorship elections will be held, he said the party will wait for final results.

Political analyst Pongalur Manikandan said only when DMK has the DMK has legislators from the Kongu belt can it truly claim that it had conquered the region.

“The DMK has only a handful of MLAs in Kongu region. Controlling local body representatives will become difficult for the party. Post-2011 local body polls, the then AIADMK government had received a lot of complaints against councillors from different corporations and the then chief minister, Jayalalithaa, even went on to warn that she would dissolve the corporations. So the DMK should be careful on this front,” he said.

Interestingly, the top 10 leaders of the AIADMK, like KP Munusamy (Kaveripakkam), Vaithilingam (Orathanadu) and Jayakumar were biting the dust in their native regions. According to political analyst Tharasu Shyam, in places like Orathanadu and Theni, the AMMK, a breakaway party of the AIADMK headed by TTV Dhinakaran, has got considerable votes.

“Other than that, this election is not a big victory for the BJP because in 2011 polls itself they have crossed more than 220 seats in total. But this time they have campaigned by saying [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi’s name. In the local body elections, the national issues should not come to the forefront. However, it is the BJP that brought issues like NEET. If they don’t get more seats than in 2011, then it will be seen as a failure for Modi.”

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