Rane, who suffered a shock defeat at his home town Kudal in Sindhudurg district during Maharashtra Assembly polls last year, losing to his bete noire Vaibhav Naik of Shiv Sena by nearly 10,000 votes, is hoping to revive his decimated political career through the Bandra East Assembly bypoll.

Political observers are keeping a keen watch on whether the 62-year-old leader, who was contemplating quitting the Congress after the Lok Sabha elections last year, can come out of his "political hibernation".

Rane is pitted against Trupti Sawant, widow of sitting Shiv Sena MLA Bala Sawant, whose death necessitated the bypoll scheduled to be held on April 11.

The contest has attained a high profile tone as the constituency houses the residence of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, against whom Rane had launched a tirade before being forced to quit the party (Sena).

Sena MLC Anil Parab said his party cadre is putting in all efforts to defeat Rane. "All of us want Rane's political career to end in this bypoll, as the constituency is home of late Balasaheb Thackeray. BJP and RPI are supporting our candidate.

Rane also targeted Sena for contesting the election on emotional appeal. "Such emotional appeals and sympathy do not solve people's issues," he said referring to Bala Sawant's widow.

Latest News from State News Desk