Wonder women of TN: Meet 21-year-old Sharukala and 90-year-old Perumaathal, who won in TN Local body polls!

The recently-concluded rural local body polls in Tamil Nadu that were held in nine districts had significantly widened the gates for women to serve the public office regardless of grassroots or top institutions. The polls also had re-emphasized that the age factor has no business when it comes to serving the community. Apart from the takeaways for the political parties, one of the remarkable takeaways for the state is the victory of two wonder women, who had become the talk of the state, after winning the polls. Let's meet them. 

21-year-old Sharukala has turned heads by winning the election for the Panchayat President in the Venkadampatti panchayat in the newly demarcated Tenkasi district. This panchayat was reserved for women. Her victory was phenomenal to that of any independent candidate as she has secured 3,336 votes and won the race in a margin of 796 votes. Through the victory, Sharukala had become the youngest Panchayat president in Tamil Nadu and she has flooded with wishes and commendations. 

Sharukala, who had contested in the polls in the lock and key symbol, has been studying her Masters in Engineering from the Hindustan Institute of Technology in Coimbatore. After the triumph, she said, "I am happy about this victory and I am very humbled that the people have reposed faith in me, the youngest among the five candidates who had contested." Sharukala said that she wants more and more educated young people to enter politics at the local body level. 

She said she believes that the educated young can do more and much better than others. Her father Ravi Subramanian is a farmer and he had contested in the local body polls last time. However, he lost the race and now, his daughter has become the Panchayat President. Sharukala had affirmed that she would function independently, without anyone's intervention, in consultation with the people. Responding to a question on whether she wants to contest in the assembly and Lok Sabha polls in the coming years, she has said she hasn't thought anything about that now. 

She will be assuming her office on October 20 and while this election has revealed the youngest candidate, it also has revealed the oldest candidate. It's 90-year-old Perumaathal from Tirunelveli, near Tenkasi from where Sharukala was elected. Perumaathal, from a traditional DMK family, has contested in the Sivanthipatti panchayat president election in the Palayamkottai union of the Tirunelveli district. When the votes were counted on Tuesday, Perumaathal had been leading the race from the beginning and she had eventually won, by defeating three other contenders. 

With the victory, Perumaathal has become the oldest Panchayat president in Tamil Nadu as she is getting ready to serve her community at the age of 90. Significantly, she won the polls with a margin of around 1000 votes while two other candidates had lost their deposits and conceded the defeat to this nonagenarian. Perumaathal has happily received the winning certificate and thanked the voters for electing her as the Panchayat President. She affirmed that she would work to provide basic and essential services to the people. 

Wonder women of TN: Sharukala (L) and Perumaathal (R) with their victory certificates


Overall, the DMK and its alliance had recorded a landslide victory in the two-phased local body polls that were held on October 6 and 9 in the 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 has secured a landslide sweep and tasted 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.