Rane nonetheless dismisses the rumours about him joining Sena as baseless.
After the Congress party’s below par performance in the recently concluded assembly polls held in five states speculations are rife in political circles that senior Congress leader Narayan Rane may switch loyalties towards Shiv Sena or BJP. His son Nilesh Rane has already resigned from the post of MPCC general secretary. The Rane family has been going through a tough phase of late as his son Nilesh Rane had lost Lok Sabha polls and while Rane himself had to face defeat in the Maharashtra assembly election. Rane was feeling sidelined within the Congress party after Ashok Chavan’s elevation to the post of MPCC president. He had failed to revive the sagging fortunes of the Congress while campaigning for the party. The internal rift prevalent within the party also was responsible for its poor performance in polls. Even though Rane has been known as the star campaigner of Congress but he has not been given a free hand in decision making process by the party. The cold war between Rane and Chavan was reported in media.
According to a political analyst, “Rane might be a better candidate for Shiv Sena as the party lacks a Maratha leader who can expand Sena’s foothold in the state. Uddhav Thackeray may not sideline Rane as the former finds himself isolated. Uddhav may induct Rane into Sena who possess a good strong hold in Konkan region. On the other hand, BJP may not be keen to welcome Rane as he might even demand lucrative post from the party leadership. Moreover, Rane also is known to show his dissent if he is sidelined by his party.”
While campaigning for polls Rane had said that Shiv Sena is not his enemy. On the other hand, many leaders from Shiv Sena are opposing Rane’s entry into the party.
Rane nonetheless termed rumours about his joining Shiv Sena as baseless. He said, “There have been rumours in social media about me joining Shiv Sena or BJP. However these parties should have spoken to me. I will make a clarification when I take a decision to join another party. I will disclose the names of Congress leaders who are spreading false rumours about me at the right time. I have been assigned post based on my work and performance by the party.”
He also expressed his displeasure over the functioning of senior Congress leaders and said that they have failed to win the confidence of grassroots workers. Rane said, “Right now things are not working well for the Congress party. No steps have been taken to revive the party. The morale of party workers has taken a hit after the party’s debacle in assembly elections. I also had met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to appraise him about the current situation of the party in Maharashtra.”