Rane’s entry in the upper house will definitely strengthen the Congress which has been losing its foothold in the state says political experts.
After losing two polls in two years former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane has made a strong comeback after he was elected unopposed in the Legislative Council. Rane’s political career had hit new low when he had lost Maharashtra assembly polls and Bandra by polls. Political experts had written off Rane and even said that his career has ended after successive defeats in elections. Rane nonetheless gave befitting reply to his critics as has been elected unopposed in the upper house. Earlier Congress had taken a decision to nominate Rane for legislative council in an attempt to corner the BJP as Rane is an aggressive leader who can challenge the opposition party. Rane has a stronghold over Konkan region and his presence will definitely help the Congress to revive itself in the area which is considered to be Shiv Sena’s bastion.
Rane, who held Kudal, his fief in Sindhudurg district for six terms as MLA, lost to the Shiv Sena’s Vaibhav Naik by a margin of more than 10,200 votes. Rane also lost the Bandra Assembly by polls to ruling Shiv Sena’s Trupti Sawant. He had ironically tasted defeat in the constituency which is the home turf of Sena founder late Bal Thackeray and where party chief Uddhav Thackeray now resides at ‘Matoshree’. Rane’s son Nilesh Rane too was defeated in the Lok Sabha polls.
“Congress doesn’t have an aggressive leader to tackle the BJP in the legislative council. Therefore they needed somebody who could challenge the ruling party in the upper house and a leader like Rane can definitely fit the bill,” said a political observer.
“He not only is a fireband leader but also possesses administrative skills and is aware about legislative rules and its functioning. Thus Rane’s entry in the upper house will definitely strengthen the Congress which has been losing its foothold in the state and other areas of the country after receiving severe drubbing in the assembly polls,” he added.
“While we believe more in being a constructive opposition, bringing Rane in will definitely be in the party’s best interests and make the party seem more aggressive. Besides, he is a senior leader and has leadership experience, so it will motivate the party cadre,” said a senior leader from Congress on the condition of anonymity.
The firebrand leader’s comeback in Maharashtra’s political landscape will not only boost his own political fortunes, but will also give the Congress, which has so far been perceived as a soft opposition, a more aggressive look .