Mumbai: Konkan political heavyweight Narayan Rane, who quit the Congress some days ago, announced the formation of his political party, Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, in Mumbai on Sunday. There are indications that Rane’s party may become part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and support the BJP on the ground in Maharashtra.
Addressing a press conference, Rane launched an attack on Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray, but kept mum over the BJP government in the State and Centre. Moreover, he praised PM Modi and his policies. That is a clear indication that he will join the NDA very soon.
Rane’s party is expected to support the BJP government in the State and pick up an invite to join CM Devendra Fadnavis’ team. The arrangement has been made after Rane’s meeting with BJP leaders. The BJP had settled for the indirect coalition route to get Rane and counter the Sena’s frequent threats to walk out of the coalition.
At the press meet, Rane targeted Udddav Thackeray saying, “Who is Uddhav Thackeray? What is his contribution to the government? He criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demonetisation. Why were his ministers silent in cabinet meetings then?”
Rane gave a clear indication that he will attack Uddhav and the Shiv Sena in the coming months on behalf of the BJP and in a sense, will be BJP’s weapon against the Sena, specially in Konkan, where the BJP does not have a significant presence.
Accusing the Sena of corruption, Rane said that no one in the Shiv Sena gets a ticket or post without paying crores of rupees. “Uddhav Thackeray has no right to speak against corruption. If the Sena is in power, why they are not giving suggestions to increase revenue?” Rane said.
Rane alsoi said he is not against development and the bullet train is part of development. “It has is no connection with the Elphinstone Road mishap and up-gradation of suburban rail. The fund that will be used for the bullet train is purely the loan from Japan and there is no cut in funds for upgradation of the local rail services,” Rane said, defending the PM’s pet project.