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Narayan Rane can join BJP, but 'conditions apply'

As Industries Minister Narayan Rane tendered his resignation and lambasted Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the Congress party in a press conference, Bharatiya Janata Party state chief Devendra Fadnavis says they are open to the probability of Rane joining them

Sulking Industries Minister Narayan Rane submitted his resignation to CM Prithviraj Chavan and later lambasted him for slackness in decision-making in a press conference yesterday. The BJP further added fuel to the fire by saying that they were not averse to inducting the minister.

Narayan Rane addressing a press conference from his official residence Dnyaneshwari, where he made carping comments against the CM and the Congress party
Narayan Rane addressing a press conference from his official residence Dnyaneshwari, where he made carping comments against the CM and the Congress party

Rane has been launching attacks on the CM and Congress after his son Nilesh lost the Lok Sabha elections on his home turf Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, for which he blames the party leadership. Addressing the media from his official residence Dnyaneshwari, he criticised the CM and the Congress for not doing enough for him.

“There is no doubt that CM is a clean person, but I am speaking about his capacity of decision making,” said the leader. Rane felt that the slow administration and a lack of control over it affected projects and people’s works, and this reflected in the results of the Lok Sabha elections.

He also fumed over the party’s unfulfilled promise of making him the CM of the state. “The promise of making me CM in six months of joining the Congress was not honoured in the last nine years,” Rane said, adding that none of his associates who quit the Shiv Sena to join the Congress was made a legislator, too.

“I don’t want to be party to a defeat in the assembly polls and that’s why I have quit,” he declared before reporters. It must be noted that no prominent supporter of Rane accompanied him during the critical phase. Except former legislators Suresh Nawale and Ganpat Kadam, no sitting or former legislator was present during the conference.

Whereas, in 2008, when he took the Congress leadership to task for choosing Ashok Chavan over him, after Vilasrao Deshmukh had to quit following the 26/11 attacks, a bunch of his supporter MLAs were present. Currently, MLAs Kalidas Kolambkar, Manikrao Kokate and Vinayak Nihman are from the old lot who quit the Sena along with Rane.

But, they kept away from these developments. “Whatever decision he takes, his supporter MLAs may follow,” said a supporter of the belligerent leader. The CM reacted cautiously through Twitter saying, “Rane had submitted his resignation letter. He had earlier submitted his resignation on the day of the election result, which I did not accept. He has assured me that he will continue to be in the Congress party.”

Meanwhile, BJP’s state unit chief, Devendra Fadnavis, said the doors were open for Rane, but conditionally, even as BJP’s ally Shiv Sena had made it clear in no uncertain terms that those who had troubled its founder Bal Thackeray would not be tolerated in the alliance.

“As of now, Rane has not forwarded any proposal to the BJP nor has he approached party chief Amit Shah. Shiv Sena has been our alliance partner, but we are two separate parties. If we want to take a decision, no one can stop us,” Fadnavis stated, indicating that the BJP would not pay heed to Sena’s tantrums.

Rane's issues
Some of the issues Rane’s resignation letter highlighted

>> Even after three years, the CM has not found time to call a meeting on my proposal to allot government contracts to cooperative societies formed by unemployed youths

>> A proposal to incorporate rules for redevelopment of slum pockets within the MIDC areas has been with the CM since many days

>> No go-ahead is being given for administrative building of state maritime board, though it has got all approvals

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