Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate DM Kathir Anand defeated All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate AC Shanmugam on Friday by a margin of over 8,000 votes in the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency polls, official data from the Election Commission showed. With this, the DMK has won 38 out the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu.
Anand secured 4.84 lakh votes against AIADMK’s Shanmugam, who got 4.76 lakh votes.
Shanmugam was leading in the counting since morning, but was pushed to the second place after the fifth round of counting.
“They had spent crores of rupees,” D Jayakumar alleged after the results. “In the next elections, we will win and we will come back in power.”
The counting had started at 8 am in the premises of an engineering college in Vellore district. The constituency, which has 14.32 lakh registered voters, had voted on Monday with a 71.51% turnout. Twenty-eight candidates were in the fray.
Vellore was the only Lok Sabha seat left to vote after the election there was cancelled in April after allegations of money being used to influence voters. All other 542 seats of the Lower House of Parliament were filled in the elections held in April and May, and the new House completed its first session this week.
The Vellore seat was held by the AIADMK in the 16th Lok Sabha.
Counting is taking place in a tight security environment with 70 CCTV cameras deployed in the premises of Ranipet engineering college. Results will be declared after votes recorded in five Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail devices are verified in each of the six Assembly segments.
In April, the Election Commission had said that its recommendation for countermanding the polls was “based on detection of a systematic design to influence voters” in the constituency. The poll panel had said its advice to President Ram Nath Kovind was related to search and seizure operations carried out at the homes of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Treasurer Durai Murugan and his son on March 29 and March 30.
The parliamentary elections in the state were swept by the DMK-led United Progressive Alliance. It won 37 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats, bucking the national trend.