Pongal is on January 14 and sources in the state polls told media that elections are most likely to be held in February 2022

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Election Commission (EC) is likely to announce the dates for the upcoming urban local body elections after Pongal. Pongal is on January 14 and sources in the state polls toldĀ  that elections are most likely to be held in February 2022.

The delimitation exercise is taking place for the newly created and expanded urban local bodies.

According to Tamil Nadu EC officials, elections would be held for 21 corporations, 138 municipalities and 490 town panchayats.

Sources in the EC toldĀ  that the elections are likely to take place in February 2022 and a notification would be issued immediately after Pongal.

The state would soon be announcing free gift hampers for Pongal which include 20 items comprising rice, jaggery and sugarcane to 2.15 crore public distribution system cardholders. Gift hampers will also be provided to Sri Lankan Tamils residing at rehabilitation centres and would cost the state government to the tune of Rs 1,088 crore.

With the DMK not announcing the cash gift during Pongal, there is resentment brewing at the grassroots level and it has to be seen how the response will be in the upcoming civic body polls.

D. Jayakumar, former Minister in the previous AIADMK government, told , “The DMK government has failed miserably in maintaining law and order in the state which is abysmal. Resentment has started brewing after the government failed on its poll promises and it will not be like rural local body polls when they won comfortably.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party will be contesting in alliance with the AIADMK and this would lead to an interesting political fight in western Tamil Nadu.

DMDK and PMK, the former allies of the AIADMK, are contesting the upcoming civic polls alone. Makkal Needhi Maiam led by party Chief Kamal Haasan and Naan Tamilar Katchi are desperate for a win.

The possible spread of Omicron variant of the coronavirus is also a matter of concern.

Following the emerging scenario after detection of Omicron cases, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday suggested postponement of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls which are due in early 2022. The EC will visit UP next week to take a call on the issue.