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AIADMK Leads In Vellore, Neck And Neck Race On With DMK

With the DMK candidate closing the gap steadily, expectation is high in the opposition camp that he will surge ahead in the following rounds.

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The ruling AIADMK is leading over arch rival DMK by a slender margin of 3,162 votes in the election to the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency as per official data of the Election Commission on Friday.

Right from start of the counting this morning, though the AIADMK, was ahead of the DMK, the margin which crossed 15,000 votes with successive rounds dwindled to 6,362 votes by the 10th round.

AIADMK's A C Shanmugam (chief of Puthiya Neethi Katchi, an ally of the ruling party) and DMK's D M Kathir Anand are the key contenders of the total 28 candidates in the fray.

With the DMK candidate closing the gap steadily, expectation is high in the opposition camp that he will surge ahead in the following rounds.

The AIADMK is also confident that its margin over its rival will go up soon and retain the constituency.

The AIADMK as per data made available at 11.40 am has polled 2,40,351 votes (47.4 per cent) followed by DMK 2,37,189 (46.8 per cent).

The poll to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat, originally scheduled to be held in April along with the other constituencies in Tamil Nadu, was cancelled following tax raids here and cash seizures.

Fresh polling was held on August 5. The constituency has 14.32 lakh voters spread in six Assembly segments and 71.51 per cent votes were polled.

The EVMs, the control units and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) devices were moved to Ranipet Engineering college premises after the polls.

The votes are being counted in a tight security environment which includes deployment of 70 CCTV cameras on the college premises, 35 km from here.

(Reuters)


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