November 10, 2019
The much-awaited local body elections are round the corner. When The Covai Post caught up with some of the, here’s what they had to say.
With the delayed local body elections now round the corner, parties in Tamil Nadu are gearing up to set the campaign trail ablaze with myriad proposals for the people.
Though the State Election Commission is likely to notify elections in the last week of November or first week of December, all eyes are on the Supreme Court that is set to issue a directive on a petition seeking extra time for notifying the elections. Officials are seeking to complete the election process before Pongal.
In the meanwhile, Coimbatore police are beefing up security arrangements for the elections that will see 3,665 polling stations set up cross the district. Around 2,170 polling stations will be established in urban areas covering Coimbatore city municipal corporation, Pollachi, Valparai and Mettupalayam municipalities and town panchayats. Around 1,495 polling stations are to be set up at village panchayats.
Second generation electronic voting machines will be used for the Coimbatore Corporation, municipalities and town panchayats, while conventional ballot papers will be used for village panchayats.
With the momentum building for the local body polls, The Covai Post caught up with party representatives who outlined their plans for the people, with most of them lambasting the pathetic state of roads, sewerage and drinking water supply in the city, and attributing the reason to the three-year delay in conducting the polls.
By-election success strengthens AIADMK hopes
The AIADMK’s success in Nanguneri and Vikravandi by-elections has strengthened the party’s hopes of success in the upcoming local body elections.
Preparations for the poll are in full swing, said Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani, who distributed welfare funds worth Rs. 4.51 crore to 530 people as part of the Chief Minister’s grievance redressal camp in Ashokapuram in the city.
In order to help improve basic amenities, the minister has urged the Central government to release funds worth Rs. 6,300 crore as recommended for the state by the 14th Central Finance Commission.
“A combined strength”
The Bharatiya Janata Party will join forces with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Paatali Makkal Katchi, All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, New Justice Party, Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, Tamil Maanila Congress and others to take on the two major regional parties – AIADMK and DMK.
“The local leadership must connect with the party, and our rainbow coalition will be representative in character,” said Vanathi Srinivasan, General Secretary of Tamil Nadu BJP.
“The Central government has sanctioned Rs. 1,700 crore funds for welfare development in Tamil Nadu Rs. 500 crore for beautification of the city, which includes river desilting; subsidised solar power initiatives; 30 Amrut (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) projects; 12 smart city projects.”
“We will take to the people the Centre’s keenness for development in the state at all levels, in this election,” she said.
“This local body election was delayed, yes, but now we look forward to leverage the combined strength of parties to take our plans and vision to the people,” Vanathi Srinivasan said.
“Our alliance will be with the people, not parties”
Naam Thamizhar Katchi state youth wing secretary S. Kalyanasundaram said that the local body elections will bring a political transformation.
“We will present our proposals to the people – from drinking water to street lights. We will address the dengue threat and uncovered borewells if elected.
He said the party will participate in all the 15 City Municipal Corporations, municipalities and town and village panchayats.
“We will contest on our own strength without alliance partners,” Kalyanasundaram said.
His party will create a model corporation, model municipalities and panchayats if elected, he said.
“Our election strategy will aim at reaching out to the public with our plans through video logs (vlogs) and social media platforms. We will play on large screens in villages our ideas and implementation methods with EC’s permission.”
According to him, an important part of the strategy would be to broadcast their chief Seeman’s speeches to the people.
He said the party will talk solutions in this election and their partners will be the people, not political parties.
“We will lead from the front”
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Singanallur MLA, N Karthik said the DMK has, under M K Stalin’s leadership, provided to the people of Coimbatore quality infrastructure, and we will restart them if given a chance.
“From overbridges to drinking water supply, the DMK has attended to people’s requirements, but a lack of local leadership for years, has deprived the people of the basic amenities.”
Good roads and infrastructure is a must for attracting investments, he said.
Saying that the DMK will lead from the front, he said the mayoral candidate will be announced by Stalin at the appropriate time, in addition to the alliance partners.
With the assembly elections a little more than a year away, success in the local body polls is an opportunity to address people’s issues and connect with them at a grassroots level.