AIADMK's AC Shanmugam and DMK's Kathir Anand. (File Photo)
A neck to neck competition is going on in Vellore Lok Sabha seat and DMK candidate DM Kathir Anand is leading after the 10th round of counting. The AIADMK candidate AC Shanmugam (chief of Puthiya Neethi Katchi, an ally of the ruling party) was leading since morning but now pushed to the second place by arch rival DMK and the opposition party is ahead by a margin of 7,985 votes.
While the DMK managed to secure a lead of 4,625 votes after the 10th round, it surged ahead subsequently and increased the margin to 7,895 votes. The AIADMK was ahead by 3,162 votes at 11.40 am.
The results of Vellore Lok Sabha seat are expected to be out by the afternoon and will decide if the ruling AIADMK retains the seat or arch-rival DMK wrests it.
Earlier, the counting of votes for the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency began at 8 am at a centre set up on the premises of an engineering college, with a three-tier security paraphernalia, officials said.
The poll to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat, originally scheduled to be held in April alongside some other seats in Tamil Nadu, was cancelled following tax raids here and cash seizures.
The polling on this Lok Sabha seats was originally scheduled on April 18 but it was called off after Rs 10 crore was seized by income tax officials from DMK leader’s possession in the district. It was then held on August 5 and nearly 72 per cent polling was recorded in this parliamentary seat.
The voting went peaceful and there were no untoward incidents even as there were some reports of EVMs and VVPATs malfunctioning.
“About 72 per cent” of the total 14.32 lakh voters cast their votes in the six Assembly constituencies covered under the Vellore Lok Sabha segment, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo had said.
The poll outcome is being keenly awaited as a win for the AIADMK would be seen as an endorsement of Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s two-year rule, although the party had little to boast of in the April 18 polls.
If DMK wins, it will be perceived as a verdict against the ruling party, with the state poised to face the general elections in 2021 at the end of the current term.
Both Palaniswami and Stalin had embarked on a hectic campaign schedule, fighting hard to reaffirm their respective parties’ dominance.
Earlier, the DMK-led alliance had swept the April 18 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, winning 37 constituencies in the state and the lone segment in the neighbouring Puducherry.
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