BJP candidate Dinesh Kashyap is leading by more than 20,000 votes over his nearest Congress rival Lakhma Kawasi after the completion of fifth round of counting today in the bypoll to Bastar Lok Sabha constituency in Chhattisgarh.

Mr. Dinesh is the son of former Bastar MP Baliram Kashyap, whose death necessitated the bypoll held on May 8. Mr. Lakhma is the sitting Congress legislator from Konta (ST).

The counting of votes began this morning amid tight security arrangements in district headquarters at Jagdalpur, where a total of 16 counting rounds will be held. The result is expected later in the day, Bastar Collector and election officer P. Anbalagan said.

Eight Assembly segments of four districts — Bastar, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur — form this tribal dominated Parliamentary constituency.