There are some sections of Narayan Rane supporters on social media seeding the thought that Rane can be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Narayan Rane and his veiled ambitions to become Chief Minister of Maharashtra is not a hidden secret anymore. Rane switched his loyalties to various political parties to try his fortune for the CM post. Rane was Chief Minister for a shorter period than Uddhav Thackeray, for only six months.
Soon after Rane joined BJP, he made a statement that Maharashtra would have a new, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government by March next year, adding that things should be kept ‘secret’ to trigger the collapse of an incumbent government. There were nonstop attacks made by Rane on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey and Shiv Sena. Whereas Devendra Fadnavis always presented his dignified side, with indispensable mannerism in his speeches, media statements and conduct.
Madhav Bhandari, spokesperson of BJP, Maharashtra State unit said, “Right now our entire focus is on Assembly Elections In 5 States. Maharashtra has two and half years to make any such guesses or assumptions. We are a cadre-based political party, let the elections take place our Party will decide about the rest.”
Narayan Rane said, “These are all the news made by the media, I never made any statement that I want to be Chief Minister of Maharashtra again. I was already a chief minister and now a union minister. I will work hard to bring the BJP government in the state but that does not mean I am putting my candidature for the CM post.”
BJP supporter on social media Nayan Chandra said, “These are just rumours and a thought that is propagated by the social media supporters of Rane, I strongly believe that there is no other leader in BJP who can replace Devendra Fadnavis. Rane has already joined the central ministry and he should stick there.”
Shaina NC, the State Spokesperson of BJP said, “Let us not get hypothetical. Devendra Fadnavis is an outstanding persona for the Chief Ministerial position. He has experience running the Government for 5 years in Maharashtra. He has been the opposition leader of the Vidhan Sabha and has a lengthy diplomatic career as a member of the Legislative Assembly. He has consequently been elected by the people and in the Bharatiya Janata Party, Devendra Fadnavis is known as a very intelligent and upgraded Personality. As an option to him, the CM’s Chair candidature is decided by the Party leadership and the Core Committee and not by cadres.”
Prakash Joshi, Senior Political Analyst said, “No, I don’t think so. It does not work like that in the Sangh Parivar. BJP has different Criteria for the Chief Ministerial position, they do not like this difference. In politics, anything can happen as he has been the CM in the past during ‘Yuti Government’ still I think this Party will go for someone else or may get somebody else in option.”
Aatish Patil, a political banners maker said, “There is no doubt that people love to see only Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister of Maharashtra. I don’t think people will ever favour leaders like Narayan Rane over Devendra Saheb. I have been making political banners for the past ten years, never witnessing so much craze for any politician other than Devendra. He was betrayed but never mind he will come again.”
Rajendra Shebadkar, an academician and political analyst said, “In the race for the post of Chief Minister Narayan Rane, this gossip is circulated by NCP. I do not think that Pawar’s policy will create such a rift between Maratha and Brahmins. This government of Mahavikas Aghadi has failed miserably. That’s why they come up with this kind of chewing news rumours, the general public should ignore it completely. The Maha Vikas Aghadi is united for power. The day before the Lok Sabha / Vidhan Sabha elections, their bubble will burst or they will fight separately.”
Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi said, “We do not think so. If Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena Alliance continue then BJP cannot come to the throne. As far as the State Powered Chair is concerned my opinion is that Fadnavis is apt for the post, but in politics, anything can happen anytime and even if BJP Shiv Sena come together the Shiv Sena will never accept Narayan Rane as the CM.”
Mahesh Upadeo, Senior Journalist (Nagpur) said, “Devendra Fadnavis has been the Karyakarta of Rashtriya SwayamSevak Sangh. He is popular at the Party and quite famous in India at large. He is known as an intellectual MLA. Narayan Rane is brought in only to perturb the ShivSena and dethrone them in the BMC. Devendra Fadnavis is currently the opposition leader of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly so he is the best name for them. Only if Brahman and non-Brahmin politics jump up then an option can be thought of. Anyhow Sudhir Mungantiar who was the State President is desperate and ready to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.”
Eknath Khadse, NCP leader said, “Devendra Fadnavis is the only priority of the BJP. They have no other option till he is in the State. I have seen the Workflow of BJP for over 40 years. I have witnessed Sangh Parivar’s style of working. In my personal opinion, they cannot think of any name besides Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra for the CM chair.”
A BJP veteran told Afternoon Voice, “certainly Narayan Rane is a fearless speaker, he has his pluses but is not fit for the post of Chief Minister of Maharashtra. No one can replace Devendra Fadnavis. Rane hails from the Konkan region, heavyweight influences the voters through his speech. During 2009 Congress – NCP, combined could get 133 seats against the requirement of 145. The combine formed the government with the help not smaller b parties and such alliance is always vulnerable. At an opportune moment, he was about to go in for a kill to bring down the government. Seeing Uddhav canvassing for his candidacy for CM, he discarded the idea. He is an astute politician.”
Brand maker social media agency told Afternoon Voice, “There are these traits and methods of soft hammering. Rane has already started his campaign sowing this thought in people’s minds. Nowadays people are seeing him as the strongest Maratha face in BJP, he is capable enough to take on Shiv Sena and Uddav. Rational speaker and very dominant in his behaviour. In two and half years, this thought will take concert shape and the narrative will be established. In this social media era, anything can be possible.”
The ruling MVA coalition in Maharashtra comprises the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress. Now-former allies, the BJP and Sena, which governed the western state together between 2014 and 2019, won re-election two years ago. However, differences over several issues, including who gets the chief minister’s chair, led to a split between the two, with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party joining hands with the NCP and the Congress.
While Thackeray heads the alliance as the chief minister, the BJP is still the single-largest as well as a principal opposition party in Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis, Thackeray’s predecessor, is the Leader of Opposition. The Aghadi allies have frequently accused the BJP of trying to bring down their government though they also assert that the ruling dispensation will complete its full five-year term.