DMK braces for intra-party polls- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The ruling DMK is facing a new round of intra-party polls and insiders say the leadership may have a tough time negotiating between different party leaders who want their loyalists to capture party posts. 

The party has called for nominations for various posts in ward-level units in town panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations from April 22 and the process is expected to be complete by the first half of May. These elections are crucial as these grassroots-level functionaries will in turn elect party persons to influential posts like district secretaries and secretaries of town panchayat and municipal units.

As an unspoken rule, most of the posts would be decided unanimously. In places where multiple party members are keen on the role, the leadership would intervene to find a compromise on an unanimous candidate. In districts where two heavyweight leaders are eyeing district secretary posts, the party leadership might have a tougher time making a consensus possible. 

A party leader who has been appointed as a supervisor for the elections said the toughest challenge will be in native places of those ministers who are not the local district secretary. As the post of district secretary is very influential in the party, some of the ministers are keen on having their loyalists win the elections to these lower-level posts to better their chances when the polls for the district secretaries happen. 

“In at least 50 per cent of places, the candidates will be elected unopposed and for 40 per cent of postings, the party leaders will have to negotiate to make a unanimous candidate possible. Only for 10 per cent of the posts, elections may happen,” he said. 

Another major factor will be locally-influential party leaders who were not given tickets in local body polls. “Since the party has returned to power after 10 years, this is the final chance for those who missed out in the elections. Else, they may have to wait for four more years. So many are keen on bagging the posts,” said a party source.

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