Narayan Rane to float his own party

Pandurang Mhaske
Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Sources in the BJP said Rane’s political party in Konkan, where the BJP doesn’t have much reach, would present a challenge to the Shiv Sena and the Congress. 

MUMBAI: After trying some political tactics, former Maharashtra chief minister and Konkan strongman Narayan Rane has finally decided to form his own political party. Rane met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi on Monday. Shah did not offer a State Cabinet berth to Rane, according to sources close to Rane. 

Before meeting Shah, Rane meet NCP State President Sunil Tatkare. The meeting was to pressurise the BJP and show that Rane is also in touch with the NCP. But this tactic failed as the BJP ignored all these political events. 

The BJP is reluctant to induct Rane into the party. Instead, he would float a new party or front and would be inducted into the State government as part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), sources within the BJP said.

“A lobby within the BJP considers Rane a political liability. Shiv Sena won’t be comfortable if we induct Rane directly into the party. The same would be the case with some of our own party workers. Hence, the party leadership decided that Rane would be asked to float his own party or front and align with the NDA,” a senior minister in the State Cabinet said.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is on a foreign tour to generate finance for infrastructure development projects like Samruddhi Mahamarg. He would be back by the weekend. Then there are Dussehra celebrations. After that, the election code of conduct for gram panchayat polls and Diwali celebrations are lined up. Till Diwali, the State cabinet won’t be expanded. Rane’s joining in the State government is likely to happen only after that, said the minister.

Sources in the BJP said Rane’s political party in Konkan, where the BJP doesn’t have much reach, would present a challenge to the Shiv Sena and the Congress. 

In the rest of the State, Rane’s party would have a tacit understanding with the BJP and could dent the Congress’s poll fortunes. 

Meanwhile, Rane is going to Dombivli for a rally after meeting Amit Shah. Shahu Samarthak Pratishthan and Rane’s supporters have organised a rally at Dombivli Gymkhana on Thursday. 

Rane is likely to start his statewide tour from Dombivli.

TO BE AN NDA ALLY
The BJP is reluctant to induct Narayan Rane into the party. Instead, he would float a new party or front and would be inducted into the State govt as part of NDA, sources within the BJP said. Till Diwali, the State cabinet won’t be expanded. Rane’s joining in the government is likely to happen only after that, said a senior cabinet minister.

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