Reportedly after an eight year gap, Chennai and other municipal city corporations in the state of Tamilnadu will be directly voting in their respective mayors. Meanwhile the state election commission issued notification for direct polls on Sunday. Earlier in June this year, the state government issued a notification in the gazette listing all the wards vacant across Chennai and other districts. Furthermore in September, District Election Officers (DEOs) were asked to appoint Returning Officers for the polls.
Apparently with these indications that local body polls are to be expected in the state after nearly three years, this means that elected councilors will no longer be voting to pick the mayor. Perhaps the order said, “In exercise of the powers conferred by Tamilnadu Local Bodies Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 2019, the state election commission hereby notifies that the elections for ward members of town panchayats, councilors of municipalities and corporations, the chairmen of town panchayats and municipalities, mayors of corporations, ward members of panchayat unions and district panchayats shall be held on party basis.”
Moreover the city has witnessed both the AIADMK and the DMK make u-turns on direct elections to the mayoral post. Perhaps Chennai city got its first directly elected mayor in 1996 when the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's son MK Stalin was elected after the city had been without a mayor for over two decades, from 1973.