Kinathukadavu Assembly constituency with 3.08 lakh voters also saw an exiting contest in the 2021 Assembly election. Just as the Coimbatore South Assembly constituency went down to the wire, Kinathukadavu also saw a tight race between the DMK’s Kurichi S. Prabhakaran and AIADMK’s S. Damodaran. But it was not a triangular contest.
In fact, it was the last of the 10 Assembly constituencies in the district for which the officials declared the results. For, it had more rounds of counting than Coimbatore South – 36.
At the start of the counting process, Mr. Damodaran led from the front maintaining lead until Round 13, when he had a 426-vote advantage.
Round 14 onwards Mr. Prabhakaran began polling more votes. At the end of Round 14, he was 2,818 votes ahead of his rival and eight rounds later – at the end of Round 22 – he had established a lead of 7,936 votes.
At this point it appeared that the DMK still had a chance in Coimbatore district and that Mr. Prabhakaran would open his party’s account. But it was not to be.
The AIADMK candidate’s vote increased Round 32 onwards and at the end of Round 36 – the last round – he had 1,758 votes more.
By then the postal votes had not been counted. As the counting process is manual, it was slow and the 1,758 margin only mandated that officials did a thorough job to eliminate errors and prevent candidates raising objections.
The completion of the counting of postal ballots showed that Mr. Prabhakaran had polled 1,131 votes and Mr. Damodaran 468, a lead of 663 votes for the former.
But it was not significant enough to impact the victory as the AIADMK candidate walked his way to the Returning Officer’s table to get his certificate of victory.
The more number of rounds of counting, the swing in margin from the AIADMK to the DMK and back to the AIADMK and the postal ballots ensured that the counting process took time before the candidates and voters had a victor before them.
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