Over the last week, a barrage of allegations and insults have been traded between the AIADMK and DMK, both accusing the other of unwillingness to contest in the upcoming local body elections in the state. However, on Thursday, DMK - Tamil Nadu's main opposition party - moved the Supreme Court requesting that ward delimitation be extended to newly created districts, thereby effectively delaying the polls further.
While the DMK has attempted to reason out that there was a lack of clarity on which areas belong to which wards in the new districts, sources tell TNM that this move has been carefully planned with the 2021 Assembly polls in mind.
While the ruling party's spending ability, both in terms of propaganda and 'bribe' to residents, was quoted as one concern, the larger issue at hand, say party insiders, is how the result of the local body polls will affect the next government which comes to power.
"We are just one year away from an election and even if the AIADMK wins 50-60% of the positions in the local body polls, it will problematic when DMK comes to power. It will be difficult to implement any schemes in the Panchayat or ward levels," says a DMK source. "Unlike other posts, you cannot hold re-election for local body and panchayat in the five year period. So DMK will only lose out if these elections happen," he adds.
Moreover, the DMK aims to ensure that the AIADMK either splinters further or loses its base in the state after the 2021 elections.
"Such a scenario is not possible if the AIADMK has panchayat and ward level leaders. They will always be able to generate support at the ground level for their own causes," he adds.
Meanwhile, talk of DMK Youth Wing Secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin eyeing the post of Chennai Mayoe were negated.
"He is 43 years old right now and will be 44 by the time of the Assembly polls and 50 by the next election. He wouldn't want to limit himself to a Chennai based role. He will look to gain a pan Tamil Nadu role that will give access to more parts of the state," says the source.