For Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, the massive triumph in the rural local body polls wasn't only due to being the ruling party but it has become a greater reiteration of support and confidence from the people for his five-months-old governance. In the middle of having weaker opposition, the schemes that were implemented by the new regime had played a vital role in this large-scale victory, even in the strongholds of the rival.
Winning the local body polls have been crucial for every party as it would help them to establish a direct connection with the voters through the grassroot organizations. Though the ruling party would typically hold the advantage, the oppositions can't be easily written off and several fronts would also divide the votes. So, these polls have been a real test for the ruling party to have people's verdict towards their rule. The recently held rural local body polls for nine districts in Tamil Nadu had drawn attention akin to the assembly polls. The race had several fronts along with the independent candidates.
While the ruling DMK contested the polls with the alliance, ADMK's alliance was drifted much ahead of the polls with the strongest partner of the coalition, PMK, had decided to contest the polls independently as the polls were held in nine districts of which PMK has the presence of its voter base Vanniyar community in seven districts. PMK's decision was a defeat for ADMK ahead of the polls and the opposition had contested the polls with the BJP. Along with thousands of independent candidates, the parties like Dhinakaran's AMMK, Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam, Vijayakanth's DMDK, and Seeman's Naam Tamilar were also on the fray.
The elections were held at two phases on October 6 and October 9 in nine districts of Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Kallakurichi, Villupuram, Ranipet, Vellore, Thirupathur, Tirunelveli, and Tenkasi for 27,003 postings, including 2,901 village panchayat presidents' posts and 22,581 village panchayat ward councillors. The votes were counted on Tuesday and the counting drive had lasted for several hours. From the beginning of the counting, the ruling DMK and its alliance were leading across the nine districts while ADMK had braced up a tumultuous defeat.
With a farther leading than the competitors, DMK is all set to secure a landslide sweep and taste a historical victory, which in a way had become another momentum for MK Stalin's leadership. This is the first election for MK Stalin since he became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the DMK has cultivated an astounding lead in all the districts even in the areas which had hosted the by-polls. As DMK has comfortably secured a larger base of the grassroot organizations, MK Stalin has thanked the voters for the result and said that the victory is an endorsement of his five-month-long administration.
He said, "We will work even harder. Will protect the confidence people have in us. The goodwill for us has increased over the last five months." He also called the victory as people's recognition of the DMK government's achievements and governance in the last five months. In a statement, the Chief Minister said, "It is a massive victory. This is the recognition given by the people for the party's achievements and continuing its remarkable journey." He had highlighted that the government had kept and fulfilled over 200 poll promises amid facing a financial crisis.
He further said, "It shows that the people voted for the party as they were confident that the DMK government would keep its promises", adding that the government has also effectively contained the spread of Covid-19 cases in the state. In his message to the party, MK Stalin had thanked the party workers who had worked hard for the victory of the party candidates and instructed the party candidates, who won the polls, to uphold the trust of people reposed in the party. He told the party candidates, "Everyone should work for the people."
Besides these nine districts, the DMK faction has also been leading in the 27 wards in other districts where by-polls were held. Through this historical triumph, the DMK has earned prowess in strengthening the local body institutions and reiterated that the support from the people for the party remain intact since the 2021 assembly polls. Tamil Nadu State Election Commission has declared that the DMK had either won or leading in 88 seats out of 140 district panchayat seats till Tuesday night while the ADMK was leading only in four seats, which is not a good sign for one of the powerful parties in the state.
According to the data of the state election commission, in the total of 1421 panchayat ward members posts in these districts, the votes were counted for the 1124 posts in which DMK had won 769 posts while ADMK has secured 163 seats. In the total of 153 district ward member posts, the results were declared for 95 seats of which DMK had a complete sweep by winning 87 seats while ADMK had only won one seat. On the other hand, PMK, which had contested the polls independently, has won or was leading in 34 panchayat wards.
While TTV Dhinkaran's AMMK has won or was leading in three panchayat union wards, independent candidates had won or been leading in 30 wards. Though DMK had dominated the race by being the ruling party, the results had also brought some of the outfits to the limelight and one such is actor Vijay's fan association, which has won over 100 seats. According to reports, the DMK and its allies will secure more than 75% of the district panchayat wards and panchayat union wards.
The rest of the parties including Seeman's Naam Tamilar and Kamal's Makkal Needhi Maiam didn't have a breakthrough and the results had disappointed them with several of the candidates from these parties had failed to secure the deposit amount. After a massive sweep, the DMK cadres are celebrating the victory as a recognition of the party's rule in the state and the allied leaders have also been attributing the victory to MK Stalin's governance in the state. Several political leaders including VCK's Thol Thirumavalavan had expressed their gratitude to the voters for voting for their parties. The elected candidates will be assuming their respective offices on October 20.