The DMK has wrested the Vellore Lok Sabha seat from the AIADMK in a close race with its candidate Kathir Anand defeating his nearest rival and AIADMK-backed New Justice Party candidate A C Shanmugham by a mere eight thousand margin.
The poll held on Aug 5 saw 71 per cent of the 14 lakh total voters, or nearly nine lakh, exercising their franchise. At the end of 20 rounds of counting, Kathir Anand polled around 4,85 ,340 lakh votes against 4,77,199 lakh secured by Shanmugham.
The remaining 26 candidates lost their security deposits. The election, originally scheduled for April 18, was countermanded following the recovery of a huge amount of cash allegedly from an associate of Kathir Anand. With this, the DMK’s strength in the Lok Sabha polls has gone to 24.
Its allies Congress , MDMK and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi have won another 14, taking the tally to 38 out of 39 seats from Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK’s sole winner was Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam’s son Raveendranath Kumar. He won from Theni in April. The BJP, which allied with the AIADMK, drew a blank.
The AIADMK won the seats 2016 thanks to the then Chief Minister and party supremo Jayalalitha who helped it win 37 out of 39 seats. Ironically, her candidate B Senguttavan won in 2016, defeating A S Shanmugham who was then backed by the BJP.