Hyderabad: The BJP was racing ahead in by-elections to the Huzurabad Assembly seat as its candidate and former minister Eatala Rajender increased his lead to over 11,000 votes.
At the end of 15th round, he was leading by 11,583 votes of his nearest rival G. Srinivas Yadav of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Rajender, whose resignation caused the bypoll, secured a total of 68,486 votes after completion of 15 rounds while Yadav had polled 57,0003 votes. Venkat Balmoor of the Congress party was a distant third with 2,131 votes.
The former minister, who was leading from the first round, increased his lead with every round. Barring eighth and 11th round when TRS nominee took the lead, it was Rajender who had an upper hand in the remaining 13 rounds.
Seven more rounds of counting were remaining but going by the outcome so far, Rajender is likely to emerge a winner.
Out of 2,36,837 voters, 2,05,053 had cast their votes in the by-election held on Saturday.
A total of 30 candidates were in fray in the by-election, caused by the resignation of Eatala Rajender after he was dropped from State Cabinet by Chief Minister K. Chandraekhar Rao following allegations of land grabbing.
Rajender, a four-time MLA from Huzurabad, also quit TRS to join BJP.
Meanwhile, celebrations were held in the BJP camp as Rajender took a clear lead. Party workers burst crackers and distributed sweets at the party office in Hyderabad.
The Election Commission has prohibited any victory procession in Huzurabad after the counting. According to the orders issued by the Chief Electoral Officer, no more than two persons will be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his representative while receiving the certificate of election from the Returning Officer.