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DMK-led front appears on course for sweep in Tamil Nadu, leads in 35 seats

The AIADMK-led NDA is ahead in only three constituencies, according to the latest Election Commission trends.

DMK-led front appears on course for sweep in Tamil Nadu, leads in 35 seats

Chennai: DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in Tamil Nadu appeared headed for a clean sweep as it led in 35 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in the state Thursday.

The ruling AIADMK, which had registered a landslide in the 2014 elections under the leadership of its supremo late Jayalalithaa, is trailing in most of the 20 seats it contested as also its allies, including the BJP.

The AIADMK-led NDA is ahead in only three constituencies, according to the latest Election Commission trends.

AIADMK's greenhorn and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam's son P Raveendranath Kumar was leading over Congress veteran EVKS Elngovan in Theni.

NDA constituent Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK is leading in Dharmapuri over his nearest SPA candidate.

The votes polled in the April 18 elections held to 38 Lok Sabha seats in the state is underway in 45 centres across the state.Election in Vellore constituency has been countermanded.

DMK alone was leading in 22 seats while it key ally the Congress surged ahead in eight of the nine seats it fought, as a total reversal appeared on cards compared to the 2014 poll when the AIADMK had 37 seats.

Reacting to the early trends of DMK surge, its leader and Chennai Central constituency candidate Dayanidhi Maran attributed it to a "severe anti-Modi wave" in the state.

Crediting DMK chief M K Stalin for cobbling up a "formidable alliance", he alleged NDA regime had neglected the state.

"Our leader Stalin has ensure a formidable alliance which has triumphed. Strategy adopted by him is the reason for our sweep in Tamil Nadu," he told PTI at a counting centre.

In an apparent bucking of the trend in the Lok Sabha polls, AIADMK was in a neck and neck race with DMK in the 22 Assembly seats which went for bypolls.

If the ruling party managed to hold on to the nine seats it was leading, it could ward off any threat to the K Palaniswami government.

The DMK was leading in 11 seats while AIADMK in nine, according to the EC trends.

In the Lok Sabha trends, Prominent DMK candidates, including Kanimozhi, sister of Stalin, former Ministers Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja, TR Baalu and SS Palanimanickam registered comfortable leads against their rivals, including those from AIADMK and BJP.

Congress' star candidates Karti P Chidambaram and former TNCC chief Su Thirunavukkarasar took comfortable leads in Sivaganga and Tiruchirappalli, respectively.

SPA allies CPI (M) and CPI were also leading in their respective seats.

Contrary to expectations, TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and actor Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) failed to make any impact in their debut Lok Sabha polls.

So far, they were no reports of any untoward incidents as counting was proceeding smoothly, officials said.

For the AIADMK, stakes are higher in the assembly by-polls, as the outcome would determine its continuance in power.