The announcement of results of the Kolathur constituency, where Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin won a close contest with Saidai Duraisamy of the AIADMK, was preceded by hours of uncertainty and tension after counting was suspended on the basis of complaints by a section of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadre.

The AIADMK party cadre complained that officials did not carry out the counting in accordance with the instructions of the Election Commission.

The presiding officers, on the day of polling, did not press the ‘close' button in respect of three ballot units, they said, and demanded suspension of the counting.

At around 5.30 p.m. AIADMK party cadre started damaging furniture at the counting hall on the Loyola College campus after the completion of the 18{+t}{+h} round of counting. Mr. Stalin was 2,277 votes ahead of Mr. Duraisamy when this happened, said P. Babu, a DMK counting agent. The AIADMK party cadre prevented the General Observer from discharging his functions, the agent added.

The AIADMK cadre heckled the general observer, said a micro observer who left the counting centre before the counting was completed.

Following the disruption of counting, the police had compelled people to leave the premises.

S. Kandaswamy, an independent candidate, said “I received blows from the police. I was scared and moved away from the area.”

However, AIADMK cadre continued to raise slogans demanding suspension of counting.

As the police could not control the situation, most of the counting supervisors, assistants and micro observers left the counting centre.

The police also chased away people near the counting hall. District Election Officer D. Karthikeyan said the counting resumed after 8 p.m.

Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said that the results could be declared only after the data in Form 17C and that in the machines were found to match.

This was later done and the results were declared late in the night.