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Sindhudurg Congress unit, Rane father-son duo 'boycott' MPCC meet

In a sign of growing restlessness in Congress after the humiliating defeat in polls, the party unit from Sindhudurg district, which is a stranglehold of senior minister Narayan Rane, today stayed away from the review meeting convened by Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) in Mumbai.

The meeting was held to take stock of the massive defeat, and according to MPCC sources it was for the first time that a district unit has defied instructions of the state unit.

Sindhudurg district Congress committee (DCC) president Satish Sawant, its office-bearers, former MP Nilesh Rane and his father and state Industries Minister Narayan Rane did not show up at the meeting held at the party office, sources said.

Nilesh was defeated from the pocket borough of Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat by Shiv Sena's Vinayak Raut by a margin of over 1.5 lakh votes.

According to sources, the DCC had passed a resolution stating that the reins of the state Congress be handed over to Rane senior despite the issue not being in its purview.

"If Rane could not ensure win of his son in his own constituency, how can the charge of the entire state be entrusted to him?" sources asked.

Even though MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre has said that the meeting with the district unit will be called separately at another date, the Sindhudurg unit will not come as it has decided to boycott the meeting, sources said.

The DCC president Satish Sawant, Nilesh Rane and Narayan Rane could not be reached on phone for comment.

Apart from deliberating on reasons of defeat, the meeting also discussed how to ensure better performance in the forthcoming Assembly polls in the state. 

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