Industries Minister and angry father Narayan Rane, still smarting from his son Nilesh's defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, refused to work under Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan at a meeting of Congress ministers recently
Industries Minister and senior Congress leader Narayan Rane is beyond pacification.
Narayan Rane and Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan
On Thursday, Rane openly criticised Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan during a review meeting called at the CM’s official residence, Varsha. He reportedly told Chavan that he wouldn’t work under him.
“It can be taken as my decision to not work under you,” Rane said at the meeting, which was attended by party ministers and continued late into the night.
Lost his appetite: Industries Minister Narayan Rane was so upset that he left the meeting without having dinner. File Pic
Rane, who’s taking every opportunity to castigate Chavan and the way he handled the Lok Sabha polls, left the meeting in a huff, without even having dinner with his cabinet colleagues.
Rane is utterly miffed with the chief minister, particularly due to his son Nilesh’s humiliating defeat at their bastion of Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg. While he had quit the cabinet following the Congress’ decimation in the Lok Sabha polls, the CM had rejected his resignation.
mid-day’s May 23 report on the Sindhudurg unit of Congress wanting Rane as the state party leader
After the poll results, the Congress’ Sindhudurg unit had even passed a resolution, asking that Rane be handed over charge of the party’s leadership in the state. This paper had reported that Rane’s supporters had skipped the party’s poll review meetings earlier (‘Narayan Rane’s supporters want him to lead Congress’, May 23).
Thursday’s meeting had been called by Chavan to apprise party ministers of the poll review meetings being held at Tilak Bhavan in Dadar . The point of the meetings is to analyse the causes of the party’s humiliating defeat in the general elections and to suggest improvements for the assembly elections in October.
Some DIY advice
Rane also asked at the meeting why ministers were being asked to speed up pending issues. “Why can’t the CM do it on his own? He can just ask departmental secretaries to draft a cabinet note and get it approved during the state cabinet meeting. Why is there need for a discussion?” he reportedly said.
He sought to know the state of nearly 70 decisions approved by the state cabinet during the pre-poll marathon meetings. Sources say many of them are pending at various stages, delaying benefits to the intended sections of society.
The 62-year-old also raised doubts over the CM’s preparedness for the LS elections. “How did you handle media, publicity and public rallies? How prepared were you and people close to you?” Rane is said to have asked.
The angry minister also accused the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of hatching a conspiracy to defeat candidates. Talking to reporters after a review meeting on Friday, Rane said, “In some places, NCP did not cooperate with Congress and in some other places it hatched conspiracies to defeat Congress candidates.”
Shinde bats for Chavan
Former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde yesterday came out in support of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, whose leadership credentials have been questioned within Congress and by ally NCP following the party’s poor performance in Lok Sabha elections.
“Chavan is an efficient chief minister. It’s not advisable to effect changes in government and party on the eve of elections,” Shinde said. Describing the crushing defeat of Congress in the Lok Sabha elections as “unfortunate”, Shinde, who himself lost from his Solapur Lok Sabha seat, spoke to the media yesterday at Tilak Bhavan.
He was at the venue to attend the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee’s review meeting to analyse the disastrous results of the polls. He said he had suggested setting up of a "fact-finding committee"to look into the reasons for the massive defeat of the Congress.
Chief minister’s plan of action
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has created ministerial groups with four MLAs each, to speed up clearance of files related to policy matters and development works, sources said.
Chavan took the decision after Thursday’s meeting with an eye on the crucial state assembly elections in October. Each minister has been given the responsibility of four to five assembly constituencies, sources said.
Adding further, sources explained that the ministers have decided to rally around each other in order to try and improve the electoral prospects of the Congress.
1.5 lakh: Margin of votes by which Nilesh Rane lost the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat to Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut