The rout in the Tamil Nadu Urban local body elections will, in all likelihood, lead to a call for leadership change in AIADMK.
Currently, the party is being jointly led by former Chief Ministers O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
In the 2011 Urban local body polls, the AIADMK had won almost 50 per cent of the seats but in the elections held after a gap of 11 years, it could muster only 15 per cent.
A total of 12,838 seats for 21 corporations, 138 municipalities and 489 town panchayats had gone for voting on February 19 for the Urban local body polls. According to the State Election Commission, the AIADMK has won 164 corporation councillor seats (11.94 per cent), 638 municipal ward seats (16.80 per cent) and 1,206 seats in town panchayats (15.82 per cent).
Since the drubbing it received in the 2019 general elections, the party lost in the 2020 rural local body elections, 2021 Assembly elections and 2021 rural local body elections in the nine new districts of Tamil Nadu and the heavy pounding it received in the Urban polls of February 19, is one which the AIADMK leadership cannot brush under the carpet.
The AIADMK which had won handsomely from the Western Kongu belt including Coimbatore, Salem, and Erode failed miserably in these bastions. The party lost heavily even in Salem, the home district of former Chief Minister Palaniswami, and ward 23 in Salem Municipal corporation, where the residence of Palaniswami is situated.
It also lost in Theni, the home district of party chief coordinator and former Chief Minister Panneerselvam to the DMK-led alliance.
Political analyst and Director of Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai, Dr. R. Padmanabhan while speaking to IANS said, the AIADMK is routed and has been losing successive elections since 2019 general elections.
It needs a course correction as the dual leadership of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami has failed miserably and the party needs a change at the helm. Stalin has emerged powerful and his past nine months of administration as Chief Minister has touched all aspects of public life and the results give a stamp of authority to him. The opposition, meanwhile, has to take immediate steps to stay alive in the politics of Tamil Nadu.
With the election results giving a clear advantage to the DMK across Tamil Nadu with all the bastions of senior AIADMK leaders, including that former ministers falling, the only way out for the AIADMK is to go back to the grassroots and build the party brick by brick, he added.
With inputs from News18