The DMK and the AIADMK are involved in a close race to capture rural local bodies in the polls held in two phases on Dec 37 and 30 in 27 districts. Counting started on Thursday morning and it will go on till Jan 4 as thousands of local bodies are involved.
The election was conducted in rural Tamil Nadu to elect 655 district ward panchayat members, 6,471 panchayat union ward members, 12,524 village panchayat presidents, and 99,324 village panchayat ward members.
According to trend available at 4 p.m. on Thursday, the primarily urban-based DMK is leading in 713 panchayat unions and the AIADMK in 551.Others, including alliance partners and independents are leading , are leading in 47.
The race is closer in the district panchayat polls with the DMK leading in 143 and the AIADMK in 122. As ballot papers have been used and the numbers of local bodies and ward members is huge, a clear picture is expected to emerge only after Jan 4.
An indication of the trend is that the DMK has won in Salem, the home district of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami . The party president M K Stalin has alleged that the State Election Commission is withholding the result.