Govinda proved his detractors wrong when he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the north Mumbai constituency, edging out BJP stalwart Ram Naik by a sizeable margin of 48,271 votes. The film star, whom political experts had written off, took a lead from the early rounds of counting.
Reacting to his victory, Govinda expressed gratitude to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for fielding him from the constituency. He also thanked co-workers.
"I would seek the blessings of the people and work for the constituency," he said, but was evasive to questions if he would accept a ministerial berth in the government.
Contrary to his reputation, Govinda arrived early at the counting centre soon after it became evident that he was going to win. He was mobbed by waiting Congress workers amidst chants of "Govinda ala re ala". The star, dressed in white, climbed up the SUV's roof and waved to supporters and mediapersons and made a victory sign against the Congress flag in the background.
A surprise candidate, Govinda had started his campaign with much fanfare by travelling on a local train to reach out to voters. He had cashed in on his image of the local lad from suburban Virar, where he spent his early years.
Vanquished MP Ram Naik said he did not expect such a result but added that he would accept the people's verdict and analyse the reasons behind his defeat.