Union Minister and BJP candidate from West Bengal's Asansol Lok Sabha seat Babul Supriyo is leading over his nearest rival Trinamool Congress' Moon Moon Sen by more than 71,000 votes after four-and-a-half hours of counting on Thursday.
Asansol parliamentary constituency, a coal belt and hub of railway activity, witnessed a fascinating battle between singer-turned-politician Supriyo and actor-turned-politician Sen in the 2019 polls.
The seat went to the hustings in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls on April 29.
Supriyo, also the sitting MP from Asansol, said he was confident of his victory despite Trinamool Congress' attempts of "booth capturing and rigging" as the "love and blessings" of common people were with him.
"There were multiple incidents of booth capturing and rigging by Trinamool Congress here on the polling day. Bombs and bullets were hurled across the area to intimidate the voters. So their (Trinamool's) vote share will depend on their success in rigging but my votes are people's votes," Supriyo said.
"I demanded repolling in 81 booths but that did not happen. I have fought the election with courage and honesty. It seems the love of people is with us," he said.
Visibly disappointed by the trends of results, Sen said she thought she would win the seat.
"I do not know what has happened. I thought I would win," the popular actress of yesteryears said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)