The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to hold local body elections before May 14.
The local body elections happened last in 2011 in which the AIADMK had been victorious. They won all the 10 mayor seats, 584 councilors, 89 municipal chairmen’s, 1681 councilors, 285 local panchayat chairmen, 2855 ward member seats. The DMK was decimated in local body elections.
On October 4, 2016, a single judge bench of the high court set aside the September 26, 2016 election notification issued by the SEC on petitions by Opposition DMK and other political parties citing non-compliance of Tamil Nadu Panchayat (Elections) Rules, 1995, following which the polls scheduled for October 17 and 19 were cancelled.
A Bench of Justices Nooty Ramamohana Rao and S.M. Subramaniam directed the state poll panel to conduct civic polls before May 14.
As the school examinations and evaluation of answer sheets would be held in April, the elections could be conducted in May, the counsel said.
This time, the elections assume importance in view of the recent political upheaval in the state after CM Jayalalithaa’s death. There was a long-drawn power struggle between O Panneerselvam and Sasikala Natarajan that brought AIADMK on the verge of a split.