Assembly elections 2019: Shiv Sena fields its own against BJP's Nitish Rane

Updated: Oct 06, 2019, 07:44 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Saffron alliance under threat in Kankavali

Nitesh Rane
Nitesh Rane

CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray may have threatened rebels in the Assembly poll fray with dire consequences, but the Sena itself has officially endorsed a candidate against BJP's Kankavali nominee Nitesh Rane.

Sena's mouthpiece Saamna said Saturday that Satish Sawant would be the party's candidate against Rane. "Kankavalit ghumshan suru jhale aahe (the tussle has started in Kankavali)," the paper said, adding that the Sena was opposed to Nitesh's nomination from the very beginning. "Despite our opposition, the BJP cleared Nitesh (candidature) at the eleventh hour. We have intensified our stand against the Ranes. It will be Sena against Narayan Rane," the paper said.

Narayan Rane, Nitesh's father, who founded the Maharashtra Swabhiman Party in 2017 was elected to the Rajya Sabha on a BJP nomination. In a low-key function held in the constituency, Nitesh was inducted into the BJP fold. Narayan Rane had split from the Sena two decades ago to join the Congress party, which he quit in 2017 and founded the Maharashtra Swabhiman Party. In 2018, he declared support for the BJP.

Sena's Satish Sawant has been Narayan Rane's supporter, but the two parted ways recently. Sena workers took to the election office in a grand procession on Friday. The news report said the rebels in the BJP also accompanied the Sena candidate.

Sindhudurg BJP president and former MLA, Pramod Jathar, protested the Sena's posturing. "The BJP has been given just one seat in the two districts of Konkan.

Our party high command asked us to support their pick (Nitesh). I don't understand why the Sena leaders are trying to disturb the alliance here by forcing their views on us."

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