NDA ally AIADMK ahead of UPA ally DMK by a whisker in Local body polls

Last Modified Saturday, 11 January 2020 (17:30 IST)
Chennai:The Indirect elections to elect District Panchayat Presidents (DPPs) and Vice-President and for Panchayat Union Chairmen (PUCs) and Deputy Chairman in rural local bodies was marred by some stray incidents in some districts, including an attack on a police official in the southern Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu.
The elections, which began at 1100 hrs today, was held in 27 districts, barring the nine newly
carved ones, was by and large peaceful, reports said. It was a close contest as the ruling AIADMK raced marginally ahead than the Opposition DMK. 
For 27 DPP posts, AIADMK and allies won 14 of them and the DMK-led alliance 12.For the posts of 314 PUCs, AIADMK has won in 150 and DMK 135, with AMMK and Independents emerging winner in some places.It would be followed by the indirect elections for the posts of Vice-Presidents and Deputy Chairmen.
According to the rules of indirect election, the elected members will vote to elect the Presidents 
Vice-Presidents, Chairmen and Deputy Chairman for District Panchayats and Panchayat Unions.
Fifty per cent of posts of DPPs and PUCs were reserved for women. Police have made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.Elections were either stopped or deferred due to some minor incidents in 24 Panchayat Unions.
A report from Virudhunagar said a DSP sustained cut injuries, when a four-member gang attacked him with a sickle and pelted stones on the police police personnel on duty in Narikudi Panchayat Union. 
Aruppukottai DSP Venkatesan sustained cut injury on his right hand, when he attempted to nab the gang that went on rampage damaging the window panes of the Narikudi union office during 
the elections. Later, he was treated at the hospital.
Additional police forces were posted as tension prevailed. Official sources said the indirect election was cancelled in Narikudi following the incident and the fresh date would be announced after consulting the State Election Commission (SEC). 
A fierce contest was witnessed between ruling AIADMK candidate Panchavarnam and DMK candidate Kaleeswari for the Narikudi chairman post. As both of them secured seven votes each, a wordy duel ensued between their supporters resulting in tension. 

Police arrested two members of the gang that attacked the police officer, while the remaining two were absconding. Meanwhile, DMK today made a representation at the SEC alleging that AIADMK was indulging in malpractices and demanded action.
It may be recalled that two phase direct elections were held on December 27 and 30 for 91,975 civic posts in rural bodies in 27 districts, for 76,746 were village panchayat ward member posts 
and 9,624 village panchayat president posts.
Also, polls were held for 5,090 panchayat union ward member posts a 515 district panchayat ward member posts. Among them 18,570 were elected unopposed.
In the polls, DMK won 2,100 ward members in panchayat unions, the AIADMK got 1,781 members. In district panchayats DMK won 243 seats and AIADMK 214 seats. 
Amid opposition DMK's allegation of irregularities in the polls, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the elections were held in a free and fair manner because of which 450 Independents have won.
He said the AIADMK-led Front secured 43.73 per cent votes in Panchyat Ward member polls as against 45.32 per cent by DMK-led Front. The margin of difference gained by DMK was a mere 1.59 per cent. 
Likewise in District Panchayat Wards, the difference was just 0.75 per cent as AIADMK secured 39.60 per cent and DMK 40.35 per cent votes, he said and reiterated that the polls were held in a fair manner.
Polls to rural local bodies in the nine new districts of Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Tirupattur, Ranipet, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi would be held alongside 
urban local elections later.(UNI)