Rane may switch loyalties to join BJP after being sidelined by the Congress party.
As the assembly election is heading closer the political permutation and combination is changing in the state. Narayan Rane has announced his resignation from the post of Industries Minister under Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s Cabinet but will continue to remain in the party. According to sources, Rane is likely to make an important announcement on Monday. As per reports, Rane will be on a three day Konkan tour as he will put forward the problems faced by him in the party. Rane is miffed with the Congress for denying him the Chief Ministerial post in the aftermath of the party’s massive debacle in the Lok Sabha election.
Talking to AV, Narayan Rane chose to keep his cards close to his chest and said, “As of now, I won’t comment about whether I will join BJP. You will have to wait till Monday to know about my decision.”
When AV asked Rane, whether he will join BJP if he gets an offer from the party he refused to comment about it.
As of now, Rane won’t quit the party but he is constantly in touch with the BJP leaders in the centre. After the untimely demise of Gopinath Munde, a mass leader from the backward community, the BJP is said to be on the lookout for a strong Maratha face in the state. Rane is considered as a strong crowd puller leader hence BJP has been trying to lure him to join the party.
When AV contacted BJP leaders from Maharashtra to know whether Rane will join the party, they said that the high command will take a decision in this regard.
Rane has blamed Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for conspiring to defeat Congress candidates. He had tendered his resignation from the cabinet on the day when results were declared but Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan turned it down. Rane, who has made his displeasure known several times over the functioning of the state Congress leadership, is extremely upset since his son Nilesh lost from Ratnagiri- Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat to Shiv Sena. During the campaign, Mr Rane had lamented that Congress had not utilised his services properly. He stayed away from cabinet meetings after the Congress suffered a massive defeat, bagging only 2 out of total 27 seats it had contested in the state.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena is opposing Rane’s entry into BJP. Rane had quit Sena in the year 2005 to join Congress. He had served as chief minister for nine months during the reign of Shiv-Sena BJP government in 1999.