From Hero No 1 to MP No 1: Govinda pips Ram Naik

Updated on May 14, 2004 06:05 PM IST

Belying all predictions, Bollywood star Govinda of Congress wrested north Mumbai seat from BJP stalwart Ram Naik by a margin of 48,271 votes.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Mumbai

Belying all predictions, dark horse filmstar Govinda of Congress wrested the north Mumbai seat from BJP stalwart Ram Naik by a margin of 48,271 votes.

Govinda, who was written off by most of the political experts, took a lead from the initial rounds of counting.

Reacting to his victory, Govinda expressed gratitude towards Congress president Sonia Gandhi for fielding him from the constituency and also thanked co-workers for the victory.

"I would seek the blessings of the people and work for the constituency," he said, but parried a question whether he would accept a ministerial berth in the government.

Amid initial confusions whether he was dubbing for a film or was at home, Govinda, contrary to his reputation, arrived early at the counting centre, soon after it became evident that he was going to win.

As and when the mercurial film star arrived in a sports utility vehicle, he was mobbed by waiting Congress workers amidst chants of "Govinda ala re ala".

The star dressed in whites climbed up the SUV's roof and waved to supporters and media horde mobbing the vehicle and made victory sign with the Congress flag in the background.

Govinda, a surprise candidate, had started his campaign with much fanfare by travelling in local train in a novel bid to reach out to voters and cashed on his image of the local lad from suburban Virar, where he spent his early years.

Outgoing MP Ram Naik said he did not expect such result but added he accepted the people's verdict and reasons behind the defeat would be analysed.

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