The ruling All India NR Congress (AINRC) on Thursday retained its Indira Nagar seat in the crucial by-election with its candidate A Tamilselvane defeating his nearest rival V Aroumougame of Congress by over 8,000 votes.

The outcome was crucial for the AINRC, which has strength of 15 in the 30-member Assembly and is in power with the support of an Independent.

Officials said that Mr. Tamilselvane secured 15,053 votes against 7,007 votes polled by Congress nominee.

Puducherry Chief Minister and AINRC founder N Rangasamy had resigned one of the two seats he won, necessitating the by-election.

This was AINRC’s first electoral test after it unseated Congress in the April 13 elections.

Mr. Tamilselvane is the chief minister’s nephew and a political greenhorn.

The AIADMK, which had contested the April 13 Assembly polls in alliance with AINRC but subsequently parted ways, was pushed to the third spot.