Mumbai: Counting for the by-elections to Bandra East assembly constituency here, where Congress heavyweight Narayan Rane is taking on Shiv Sena and MIM rivals, and Tasgaon-Kavthe Mahankal seat, where Suman Patil, wife of NCP stalwart late R R Patil is contesting, will be held tomorrow.

The counting will start at 8 AM, an official said. Voting had been held on April 11.

Fromer chief minister Rane, who lost the Assembly election last year from his native Sindhudurg district in coastal Konkan, is trying to enter the Maharashtra Assembly through the bypoll to the Bandra (East) constituency in the metropolis.

He is pitted against Shiv Sena’s Trupti Sawant, the widow of former MLA Bala Sawant whose death necessitated the bypoll.

The fight has become triangular with All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) putting up Rahbar Khan.

For Rane, this is a make-or-break contest as a defeat would mar his chances of remaining at the centrestage of Maharashtra politics.

In Tasgaon-Kavthe Mahankal, Suman Patil of NCP, wife of former state home minister R R Patil whose death necessitated the by-election, has the advantage as no other party has fielded any nominee against her as a mark of respect for the former deputy chief minister.

However, there has been speculation that a section of BJP covertly helped Swapnil Patil, a youth BJP leader from Tasgaon, who entered the field as an independent.

A total of 10 candidates are in the fray in Bandra and nine in Tasgaon.

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