Around 42% voters on Saturday exercised their franchise in the keenly watched by-election to the Maharashtra assembly from Bandra (East), where Congress heavyweight and former chief minister Narayan Rane is taking on Shiv Sena and MIM rivals.
In Tasgaon-Kavthe Mahankal, where Suman Patil, wife of former home minister and NCP stalwart late RR Patil is contesting, around 58% polling was reported, an election official said.
Two sons of Rane were placed under preventive detention by police after the voting began this morning and were released after the polling ended.
Nilesh Rane, a former Congress MP, and MLA Nitesh Rane, were detained at Kherwadi and Vakola police stations respectively.
Rane, who lost the assembly poll last year from his native Sindhudurg district in coastal Konkan, is trying to enter the Maharashtra assembly through the by-poll to the Bandra (East) constituency in the metropolis.
Rane is pitted against Shiv Sena's Trupti Sawant, the widow of former MLA Bala Sawant, whose death necessitated the by-poll. The fight has assumed a triangular dimension 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 centre stage of Maharashtra politics.
His son Nilesh, who was active in the campaign fray, said he was having tea with two friends and had no security or party workers with him when he was detained.
He alleged he was manhandled by deputy commissioner of police Satyanarayan Chaudhury, who denied the allegation, saying the entire process is videographed.
In Tasgaon-Kavthe Mahankal, Suman Patil of NCP, wife of R R Patil, whose death necessitated the bye-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 in the BJP had covertly helped Swapnil Patil, a youth BJP leader from Tasgaon, who has entered the field as an Independent.
A total of 10 candidates are in the fray in Bandra and nine in Tasgaon. Counting of votes will take place on April 15.