Narayan Rane takes a dig at Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan

Claims to take responsibility for the defeat of Congress candidates across the state in his resignation letter   

Flustered over his son Nilesh Rane’s defeat in the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency in the Lok Sabha elections by a huge margin, Industries minister Narayan Rane has sought to put Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in the dock by making a sarcastic comment against him in his resignation letter.

Narayan Rane
Narayan Rane

Rane drafted his resignation letter on Friday even before the official result of his son was declared. It says, “The Congress candidates in most of the constituencies have been trailing behind and are on the verge of losing the election. Being a Congress leader, I take responsibility for the loss of candidates across the state and in the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency.”

Prithviraj Chavan
Prithviraj Chavan

Rane’s son, Nilesh, lost to Shiv Sena candidate Vinayak Raut with over 1.5 lakh votes, which is a huge setback for the minister. Sources in the party say, ever since Rane quit Shiv Sena in 2005, he didn’t allow Sena to get a political stronghold in Sindhudurg. But the minister allegedly felt that a section within the Congress was always trying to cut him to size.

A close supporter of his said though Chavan and Maharashtra Pradesh Comgress Committee (MPCC) chief Manikrao Thakre were aware of troubles being created by Nationalist Congress Party MLA Deepak Kesarkar in the Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts, they did not pay heed to the issue during the Congress and NCP’s coordination committee meeting in Pune in April this year.

Insiders allege that a section within the Congress is tacitly backing MLC Vijay Sawant who is Rane’s archrival. A Rane supporter also alleged that no efforts were made by senior party members to ensure that Sawant and Kesarkar settled their differences with the minister. When contacted, Rane was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, another Congress minister Dr Nitin Raut also tendered his resignation on Saturday. He forwarded a copy of it to All India Congress Committee Vice President Rahul Gandhi too. His letter says that the defeat of party candidate Vilas Muttemwar from Nagpur is a defeat of the principles of equality and secularism eschewed by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Dr Raut represents Nagpur (North) assembly constituency in the state assembly.

The Congress is expected to take a review of the party’s performance in a meeting at New Delhi on Monday. CM Prithviraj Chavan is also expected to attend it.

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