Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was marginally ahead of rival Smriti Irani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Amethi, signalling a possible close fight in what has always been a Congress bastion, early counting of votes showed on Friday.
After round one of counting of ballots, Rahul was ahead of the popular television actor by 1,912 votes. Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Kumar Vishwas was trailing at a distant third.
Rahul had, in fact, at one point trailed Irani, who earned fame playing a young 'bahu' in a popular Hindi TV series, when he was behind her during the counting of votes for the Jagdishpur assembly segment.
Rahul's struggle for votes was reflective of the Congress' wider performance in the national elections, where the party along with its allies was struggling to cross even 100 seats.