Tamil Nadu Local Body Election 2022: Polling is underway in Tamil Nadu for urban local bodies today. The voting started at 7 am and will conclude at 6 pm with the last one hour being reserved for the COVID-19 positive voters. Overall 23.42 per cent polling was recorded till 1 PM. The voting is being held amid tight police security and arrangements including ramps to ensure a hassle-free experience for the differently-abled. The polling is being held across 38 districts in a single phase for 21 municipal corporations, 138 municipalities and 489 town panchayats. Over 57,700 candidates are in the fray for about 12,800 ward councillors posts. The government has already declared a public holiday today. As many as 228 candidates have been elected unopposed.In Chennai, out of the 5,013 polling booths, 213 have been identified as vulnerable and 54 as ‘critical’. As many as 390 mobile parties and a total of 22,000 police personnel have been deployed in the district as part of efforts to ensure peaceful polling.
In the Tiruvallur district, voting is being held for electing 315 ward members for 8 town panchayats, 6 municipalities and the Avadi municipal corporation. In the Tiruvannamalai district, there are 273 ward member posts for 10 town panchayats and 4 municipalities.
Polls were announced last month by the TNSEC for a total of 12,838 ward member posts in 649 urban civic bodies. The 649 urban local bodies are 21 municipal corporations, 138 municipalities and 490 town panchayats. Subsequently, polls for all the 12 wards in Kadambur town panchayat in Thoothukudi district were cancelled for violations. For a town panchayat ward (Kanadukathan) in the Sivaganga district, no nominations were filed. In total 218 candidates were elected unopposed.
Counting of votes will be held on the 22nd of this month. The ward councillors will later elect the mayors and deputy mayors of the corporations and chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of the municipalities and the town panchayats.
The ruling DMK and its allies are together fighting the polls. The main opposition AIADMK’s partners during the last year’s Assembly polls like the PMK and BJP are facing the civic polls on their own. In some areas, the AIADMK has allocated wards to smaller allies like the Samuga Samathuva Padai-led by former IAS officer P Sivakami. However, mostly they are contesting on the two-leaves symbol. Sivakami is the AIADMK nominee from ward 99 of the Chennai Corporation. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, Naam Tamizhar Katchi and Makkal Needhi Maiam are among others who are in the fray.