Senior Congress leader from Tamil Nadu and the Union Home Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, won the Sivaganga Lok Sabha seat, beating his nearest AIADMK rival, R S Rajakannappan, by a thin margin of 3354 votes.
Chidambaram, who has been elected to the lower house from Sivaganga for the seventh time, however retained his seat this time by the lowest margin in his decades-long political life so far.
While Chidambaram polled 3,34,348 votes, his main AIADMK adversary had polled 3,30,994 votes. The actor Vijayakant-led DMDK’s nominee, Ms. Regina Pappa finished third bagging 60,054 votes.
Chidambaram has been representing Sivaganga in the Lok Sabhs uninterrupted from the year 1984 onwards, except once when he lost in 1999 as the candidate of the erstwhile Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC).
Earlier today, Chidambaram was trailing behind the AIADMK candidate for a long time until he took a slender lead towards the final round of counting.
But with Kannappan raising some objections in the final total, sources in Sivaganga told HT over telephone late this evening after the Home Minister’s re-election was officially announced, that the ballots polled in four booths of Alangudi Assembly segment had to recounted. At one stage, AIADMK men even staged a ‘dharna’.
The Hindustan Times had reported that though Chidambaram was on a turning wicket this time, he would eventually romp home and this is what happened today.