The DMK candidate won the chairman’s post in the Periyakulam Union here on Monday with the support of AMMK and DMDK ward councillors. This has sent shock waves among the ruling AIADMK party cadre.
Elections to the local bodies were held in Tamil Nadu in 2019 after which ward councillors elected the chairman and vice-chairman through indirect polls.
In the Periyakulam union, there are 16 wards and the DMK bagged 8 seats, AIADMK 6 and AMMK and DMDK bagged one each.
Though the officials announced dates for the conduct of the indirect election as per the laws, the polling could not take place thrice for want of quorum or other reasons, officials said.
Meanwhile, a DMK councillor, Selvam (ward 8) switched his loyalty to AIADMK. Hence, the number of DMK councillors stood at 7. Under such circumstances, Thangavel, a DMK councillor, approached the Madras High Court Bench at Madurai seeking intervention, and the Bench directed the authorities to conduct the election by February 15.
As per the court directive, when the councillors were present, the officials held the indirect election and declared that Mr. Thangavel had been elected the union chairman. Of the 16 votes, he polled nine, including the AMMK and the DMDK councillor’s votes, officials said and added that the vice-chairperson’s post was bagged by the lone AMMK councillor.
As the news spread about the DMK candidate emerging victorious, the hometown of Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam, AIADMK cadre were shocked. The lone councillor Packiam (DMDK) and Maruthaiammal (AMMK) told reporters that their decision had approval from party high commands.
A close aide of the Deputy Chief Minister told The Hindu that the “development need not be seen as a setback… But, with the election approaching, we will find out what went wrong.”
A senior functionary from the AMMK said that this was “just a beginning…many more such surprises will follow soon for the AIADMK”.