As counting of votes polled in the October 21 by-elections to two Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu is on, trends indicate a clear advantage to the ruling AIADMK which worked hard to secure victories against an aggressive main opposition DMK.
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In Vikravandi constituency (Villupuram district) where the ruling party and the main opposition are locked in a straight fight, AIADMK's M R Muthamilselvan who was ahead of DMK's N Pugazhendhi by a margin of 7,991 votes about two hours after the counting began, significantly improved it to 32,000 plus votes at 12.20 p.m.
Muthamilselvan has bagged 81,460 votes and Pugazhendi 49,091.
The AIADMK candidate Reddiyarpatti V Narayanan who was leading from Nanguneri segment by a slender margin of 1,800 votes by 10 a.m appears to be sitting pretty against his DMK backed Congress rival 'Ruby' R Manoharan, having increased it to over 12,000 votes just past noon.
Narayanan polled 42,250 votes as against Manoharan's 29,420 ballots.
The AIADMK workers, confident of victory, meanwhile began celebrations by distributing sweets at the party headquarters here. Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who is the party's co-cordinator, visited the headquarters after the counting trends indicated a clear advantage to the ruling outfit.
Bypolls were held on October 21 peacefully without any untoward incidents and Vikravandi topped with 84.36 per cent voting followed by Nanguneri which clocked 66.10 per cent.
Counting of votes began by 8 am and it is on amid tight security. Counting of postal ballots were taken up initially.