Mumbai/Sangli, April 15: Riding on a sympathy wave, the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party nominees, both widows, raced towards victory in the Maharashtra assembly by-polls in Mumbai and Sangli districts, according to latest counting trends available here on Wednesday.
The Shiv Sena's Trupti Sawant and the NCP's Suman Patil have secured strong leads in their constituencies - Bandra East and Tasgaon-Kavthemahankal respectively - where vote counting commenced in the morning and is expected to be completed by afternoon.
The trends indicated a serious setback to the Congress's heavyweight candidate, former chief minister Narayan T. Rane in Bandra East, who was trailing by over 15,000 votes.
In Tasgaon-Kavthemahanmal, Patil easily sailed through the challenge posed by a Bharatiya Janata Party rebel Swapnil Patil, building up a lead of over 100,000 votes.
The Bandra East by-election last Saturday was necessitated by the death of sitting Sena legislator Bala Sawant, and in Tasgaon-Kavthemahankal following the death of sitting legislator and former deputy chief minister R.R. Patil.