MUMBAI/NAGPUR: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra was leading in Palghar but trailing in the Bhandara-Gondiya constituency as counting progressed in the May 28 Lok Sabha bypolls here on Thursday.
In the available vote-count figures at 1 p.m., BJP candidate in Palghar, Rajendra Gavit, notched up over 263,000 votes while his nearest Shiv Sena rival Shriniwas Vanga was trailing at around 237,000 votes.
They were followed by the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi's Baliram Jadhav at 208,000 votes and Congress's Damodar Shingada was at a distant fourth position with 47,000 votes.
In Bhandara-Gondiya constituency, BJP candidate Hemant Patle, who was leading in the earlier rounds of counting, suddenly fell behind at 94,000 votes while Nationalist Congress Party's Madhukar Kukde, remained ahead with a tally of over 103,000 votes.
Elections in both the constituencies were marred by large-scale incidents of malfunctioning EVM-VVPATs with all the Opposition parties and ruling ally Shiv Sena hurling allegations of foul play and tampering of the machines.
The high-stakes elections in both the seats, came in the wake of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' vow, to win the elections "come what may" -- and his subsequent controversial remarks of using "Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed" to bag the polls at all costs.