Ellenabad: The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) gained an early lead on Saturday as the counting of votes in the crucial by-election for the Ellenabad assembly seat in Haryana began.
INLD candidate Abhey Singh Chautala led his Congress rival Bharat Singh Beniwal by nearly 3,000 votes at the end of six of the 11 rounds of counting.
Of the 15 candidates in the fray, 11 are independents. The main contest is between the state`s ruling Congress and the opposition INLD.
The result of the seat is significant for state politics as Abhey is the younger son of INLD president and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.
The senior Chautala, who won this seat by 16,400 votes in the Oct 13 assembly election last year, vacated it in November as he was also elected from another assembly seat, Uchana Kalan.
Officials said out of the 144,181 voters, including 77,340 men and 66,841 women, 127,711 people had cast their votes Wednesday.
Other major parties like the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had not fielded candidates for this by-election in view of the direct contest between the Congress and the INLD.