Mumbai(PTI): Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane on Tuesday filed his nomination papers for the Bandra East Assembly seat by-election to be held on April 11.
Accompanied by MPCC President Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress unit chief Sanjay Nirupam, Rane reached the office of the returning officer in a procession and filed his papers. Rane will take on Shiv Sena's Trupti Sawant, whose husband Bala Sawant's death necessitated the bypoll.
During the last year's Assembly poll, Sawant had defeated BJP's Mahesh Parkar by 15,000 votes. Rane, the former Maharashtra Chief Minister who also served as a Cabinet minister in the Congress-NCP government, had yesterday met Nirupam and said that the by-election is a "good opportunity to give Nirupam a headstart as we will contest under his leadership." Nirupam said the entire city unit would unitedly work for Rane's victory.
Interestingly, Rane had earlier expressed his displeasure over Nirupam's appointment as he felt a Maharashtrian face was necessary to head the city unit. Rane had also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar here on Sunday and sought his party's support in the contest.
The bypoll has become a high-profile contest as Rane will take on Sena in the constituency which houses the residence of Sena President Uddhav Thackeray. Meanwhile, in Tasgaon-Kavthe Mahankal seat of western Maharashtra, BJP's Swapnil Patil filed nomination as an Independent. The NCP has fielded Suman Patil, the widow of late R R Patil whose death last month necessitated the bypoll.