"Bhatia is now the Kerala governor."
Amritsar, Feb 27 - Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu Tuesday won the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat by-election, defeating his Congress rival Surinder Singla by over 77,600 votes.
The official announcement of the crucial parliamentary seat result was withheld as two electronic voting machines had malfunctioned. The final result, after counting of votes from the two machines, would be made available later.
Sidhu's victory over Singla, Punjab's outgoing finance minister, was a forgone conclusion. Sidhu led in the counting Tuesday right from the beginning and his lead kept growing.
However, his victory margin was much less than what he registered in the May 2004 Lok Sabha election when he won the seat for the first time.
He had then defeated seven-time MP Raghunandan Lal Bhatia by over 109,500 votes.
Bhatia is now the Kerala governor.
Sidhu had resigned from the seat in December following his conviction by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a road rage case that led to the death of a man 18 years ago in Patiala town. His three-year prison sentence was last month stayed by the Supreme Court.