Bhopal, Apr 16: BJP nominee Hemant Khandelwal is leading his Congress rival Sukhdev Panse by about 10,000 votes in the vote count for Lok Sabha by-election in Betul constituency of Madhya Pradesh today.
Election office sources, quoting initial counting trend, said Mr Panse was leading in two Assembly segments only.
About 60.53 per cent of the 11 lakh electorate had exercised their franchise on April 12 and counting was in progress at Betul and Harda towns amid tight security.
A total of 12 candidates are in the fray to fill up the vacancy caused by the death of sitting BJP member Vijay Khandelwal. His son Hemant is the BJP nominee.
Besides Mr Khandelwal and Mr Panse, other candidates include Dr Sunilam (Samajwadi Party), Hira Singh Markam (Gondwana Gantantra Party), Mangal Singh Lokhande (Samajwadi Jan Parishad) and independent candidates Ashok, Udal Prasad, Prem Kumar, Bhagcharan, Manjit Singh, Mansharam and Rewaram.