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Rane participates in Sangharsh Yatra, praises Sonia, Manmohan

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane, who was said to be contemplating quitting the Congress, praised the party president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the decision of farm loan waiver during the UPA regime.

Rane showed up for the fourth phase of `Sangharsh Yatra campaign launched by opposition Congress and NCP to demand loan waiver for farmers in Maharashtra at Savarde in Ratnagiri district.

His son and former MP Nilesh, who has been openly critical of the state Congress chief Ashok Chavan, accompanied him at a public rally.

For the past few weeks speculation is rife that Rane is unhappy with Congress and may join the ruling BJP.

Speaking at the public meeting, Rane asked people not to have any misconceptions about him.

“Political predictions about Konkan are always wrong. This is also true in my case,” said Rane, who belongs to Sindhudurg district of the coastal Konkan region.

He also praised Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and NCP president Sharad Pawar, the then union agriculture minister, for the Centres decision of farm loan waiver in 2008.

The UPA government gave relief to the farmers, and the state government led by (the then CM) Ashok Chavan and (then deputy CM) Ajit Pawar also provided relief to the farmers reeling under drought in the state, Rane said.

He also lashed out at Shiv Sena — which he quit to join Congress in 2005 — calling it power-hungry.

“Sena leaders talk about resigning (from BJP-led government) and at the same time chase the Chief Minister to get their personal work done,” he said.

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