September 26, 2016
DMK leader Stalin alleges the poll schedule favors the ruling party, but said his party was ready for the fight
Chennai: With a groundswell of support for Amma growing after a series of welfare schemes, AIADMK supremo and state chief minister J Jayalalithaa seem poised to repeat assembly performance in local body polls, scheduled for October 17 and 19. Or so the AIADMK party office bearers assert even as opposition launched a scathing criticism of the election commission for favoring the ruling party.
On Monday, DMK legislative party leader MK Stalin said the schedule announced by the election officials was such that it favored the ruling party. They gave no time for the political parties to react and after a late evening announcement, nominations began by Monday morning. The parties were yet to begin processes of selection of candidates, he said. Another leader said Jayalalithaa had already announced several schemes and was ready while the rest of the parties were still negotiating alliance talks.
AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi made light of Stalin’s criticism and said “if a party is ready for fight, then why is it giving such lame excuses. The truth is that Amma is very popular and the government has taken up more steps for the poor and the underprivileged.”
The victory for AIADMK is assured, which is why the opposition is already crying foul, which is a clear indication it is losing and it cannot stomach the impending defeat, said another AIADMK leader.
But Stalin questioned the hurry with which the polls were announced “to suit ruling party”.
But even then, the DMK is ready for the battle, he said.
The local body polls, to be held in two phases on October 17 and 19, are being hotly contested. Pattali Makkal Katchi and the BJP too blame the election officials for favoring the ruling party.
BJP state unit chief Tamilisai Soundarrajan also wondered why there was hurry in making the announcement without giving time for political parties.
The AIADMK was first off the blocks in naming candidates for the local body polls.
The state election commission will be conducting the elections for electing wards members from 12 municipal corporations,124 municipalities, 528 town panchayats,31 district panchayats, 388 panchayat unions and 12,524 village panchayats.
The filing of nominations for candidates started on Monday, while October 3 is the last date for filing the nominations. Polling is scheduled for October 17 and 19. Counting of votes is to be taken up on October 21.