Long-delayed and much anticipated, the local body election in Tamil Nadu threw up interesting results - the DMK and its allies won the majority of seats in both the District Panchayat wards and the Union Panchayat wards, while the ruling AIADMK  came a close second.

The DMK and its allies won 243 District Panchayat wards and bagged 2,099 seats in the Panchayat Union wards while the AIADMK won 214 District Panchayat wards and 1,781 Panchayat Union seats.

The BJP managed to win 7 seats in the District Panchayat wards and 85 seats in the panchayat union wards. the CPI won 7 seats in the District Panchayat wards and 62 Panchayat Union ward seats, and CPI(M) got 33 Panchayat Union seats. 

The polls are the first local body elections since the demise of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi.

A precursor to 2021?

The results taken alongside the Lok Sabha results and the Assembly by-elections results from May 2019, indicate that no single party has a clear edge – the DMK swept the State in the Lok Sabha election, while the ADMK won enough seats to retain power in the TN State Assembly.


This major victory will put the DMK firmly ahead in the race to the Assembly. The party even made inroads in Salem district, which is an AIADMK stronghold, while also holding on to its bastions in Tiruchirappalli, Tiruvarur, and Thiruvannamalai.

The results look like the DMK is continuing its winning momentum from the Lok Sabha polls. The DMK will look to MK Stalin to lead them to a victory in 2021 when the State Assembly polls will be conducted.

Even Stalin has acknowledged this. In a tweet, he said that the DMK's 'massive victory' over the AIADMK's showed the confidence and the trust the people of the state had placed in the party. He added that the Ministers from the ruling party can campaign hard, spend a lot of money, but the people are angry with them.


While the DMK must focus on keeping the AIADMK on its toes, it cannot afford to lose momentum. The 2021 polls will be crucial for the party that has been in the opposition benches for 10 years, and will also test the ability of Stalin to win elections.


The ruling AIADMK, however, seems to have taken the loss in their stride. In a tweet, the party thanked the electorate for electing them and claimed that 'the victory was a reward for the Government’s good work'. It added, “We will ensure that we will work even better in the coming days and achieve complete victory in all elections in Tamil Nadu!”


Despite this bravado, all is not well for the AIADMK party. They are losing more often than winning – they lost the general elections massively and they just about scraped through in the bypolls to retain power. This is further aggravated by the fact they lost in their bastions like Salem.  

The party should worry that despite performing well – Tamil Nadu was recently adjudged to be the best governed state by the Central Government’s Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, and the Centre for Good Governance – they are facing anti-incumbency. With just a little over a year to go for the state election, they must start working on effectively communicating to the people about their schemes, and more importantly, they must show that the party is able to deliver on its promises.

What lies ahead

With this victory, a reinvigorated DMK, is expected to push hard on multiple fronts, and it has already done so -- the party, led by MK Stalin, staged a walkout during the Governor’s address to the Tamil Nadu Assembly, raising slogans against the Centre's Citizenship Amendment Act.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK, which is on the back foot, must fight hard to not lose any more ground in the upcoming State elections.

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