MUMBAI: The meeting between BJP president Amit Shah and former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane in New Delhi on Wednesday night has triggered speculation, with the latter claiming that Shah offered him a Rajya Sabha berth.
"I have not yet decided about the offer," Rane said, even as nobody from the BJP came forward to corroborate his claim.
"Amit Shah asked me whether I was interested in a Rajya Sabha seat as the NDA candidate. Earlier, I was planning to go to Delhi (only) after 2019 (Lok Sabha election). I have not yet decided about Shah's offer. I have sought some time (from Shah) to think over it," Rane, who returned from Delhi this afternoon, told reporters here.
"I met Shah with Fadnavis, where the chief minister told me he was facing some problems in inducting me into the state cabinet. I am hopeful that he will resolve them soon as I am not going to wait too long for my induction," he said.
Fadnavis, who was in Delhi yesterday to attend a conclave of the chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, was present at the meeting between Rane and the BJP chief, which concluded around midnight at Shah's 11, Akbar Road residence.
Rane, who floated the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh after he quit the Congress last year following a 12-year stint, is eyeing a berth in the Fadnavis-led ministry, which completed three years in October last year.
Soon after forming the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh last year, Rane had announced his support to the BJP-led NDA.
The BJP has 122 MLAs in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and is in a position to get three candidates elected to the Rajya Sabha, sources in the saffron party said.
The deadline for submission of nominations is March 12 and the election is scheduled on March 23.