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Chidambaram elected from Sivaganga after see-saw battle

Last updated on: May 16, 2009 21:23 IST

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was today declared elected from Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency, defeating All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's Raja Kannappan by a slender 3,354 vote margin after a see-saw battle that went to wires.

Chidambaram secured 3,34,348 votes while Kannappan got 3,30,994 votes, according to the official sources. Earlier, confusion prevailed as election officials delayed the declaration of result. The delay was due to a dispute in the counting of votes.

Officials had announced the leads through the public address system after each round of counting and Kannappan was ahead by a margin, which ranged from 673 to about 3,825 votes.

There was confusion when the final round was being counted with Chidambaram demanding re-tally after officials announced that Kanappan had won with a margin of over 3,000 votes.

Poll officials contacted their counterparts in Chennai and Delhi after the AIADMK candidate demanded a recount.

As uncertainty persisted, AIADMK men gathered in front of the counting centre and shouted slogans against the delay in the declaration of result. Congressmen countered them shouting slogans in support of Chidambaram.

Meanwhile, an AIADMK delegation led by party Headquarters Secretary K A Sengottiyan met state Chief Electoral Officer and alleged that "pressure was exerted on the Returning Officer of Sivaganga." The delegation claimed that Chidambaram had lost.

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