DMK candidates on course to win

Its candidates grab pole position in Cuddalore and Kallakurichi constituencies

The DMK was on course to recapture its bastion of Cuddalore as counting entered the final rounds at the Periyar Government Arts College on Thursday.

In a closely-fought election, the DMK candidate T.R.V.S. Ramesh secured, and then maintained, a lead over his nearest contender till the end of the final round.

Mr. Ramesh, who was leading by 681 votes at the end of the first round, had widened the lead to 25,545 votes by the end of the third round and to 1,25,338 votes at the end of round 17. (As many as 7,889 voters were found to have exercised the NOTA option after round 17).

The high-pitched campaign in the constituency ensured a turnout of 73.64 %. The PMK had hoped to retain the seat, earlier held by its ally, the AIADMK, while the DMK expected anti-incumbency to work in its favour.

In the 2014 elections, Arunmozhi Devan of the AIADMK won the seat by a margin of 2,03,125 votes, defeating his nearest rival K. Nandagoplakrishnan of the DMK.

Cuddalore is considered the stronghold of the DMK as the party had won the seat in 1962, 1967, 1999 and 2004 elections.

Villupuram

The DMK-led alliance was set to wrest the Villupuram Lok Sabha constituency seat from its arch rival, the AIADMK.

D. Ravikumar of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) who contested on the DMK’s Rising Sun symbol polled 5,54,740 votes at the end of round 19, leading his nearest rival Vadivel Ravanan of the PMK (who secured 4,28,844) by a margin of 1,25,896 votes.

Kallakurichi

The DMK was heading for a win in the Kallakurichi Parliamentary constituency in the neighbouring Villupuram district.

Gowtham Sigamani, son of DMK heavyweight and former Minister K. Ponmudi, polled 7,15,084 votes at the end of round 23, leading his nearest rival L.K. Sudhish of the DMDK, who had secured 3,19,398 votes, by a margin of 3,95,686 votes.

Gomakhi Manian of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) trailed a distant third with 49,788 votes.

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