Chennai, Jan 2 (IANS) It is a close contest between the ruling AIADMK and the principal opposition party DMK in the two phased rural local body elections held on December 27 and 30 last year.
The lead trends are alternating between these two parties since Thursday morning when the counting of votes got underway.
The trends show that AIADMK has been able to retain its support base in the rural areas despite the major drubbing it suffered in the hands of DMK in the Lok Sabha polls.
As per the trends available for 515 District Panchayat Union Ward Member posts, the ruling AIADMK and DMK are leading in 151 seats each.
According to the State Election Commissioner, a total of 19,734 candidates have been declared elected, including those who won unopposed, to the Gram Panchayat Ward Member posts, 1,141 persons for Gram Panchayat President posts and 208 for Panchayat Union Ward Member posts.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said the vote counting is progressing smoothly. As ballot papers were used for the polls, counting of votes would continue.
He also refuted DMK President M.K. Stalin’s charge that result declaration was being delayed in areas where his party candidates have won.
According to the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC), the first phase saw 76.19 per cent polling, while the second phase saw 77.73 per cent trunout.
Over 2.31 lakh candidates contested the polls for 91,975 posts. The posts include Gram Panchayat Ward member, Gram Panchayat President, Panchayat Union ward member and District Panchayat Union Ward member, among others.