Pune: Congress heavyweight from Maharashtra's Konkan region Narayan Rane is all set to join the BJP on or before Dussehra day. Rane gave a clear indication on Sunday that he is fed up with the Congress party's style of functioning and will 'do the ultimate' during the Navratri festive season, which begins from September 21.
The speculation about Rane possibly joining the BJP first started three months ago when he was seen in Ahmedabad outside BJP President Amit Shah's residence along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Rane had a meeting with Shah then, but the modalities of his joining the party were not finalised. Sources told Sakal Times that now its almost certain that Rane will cross over from the Congress to the BJP before Dussera.
On Sunday, speaking to a regional news channel, Rane said he was totally frustrated with the style of functioning of Congress leader Ashok Chavan and alleged that Chavan was trying to sideline him at every stage.
"The party committee in my district of Sindhudurg has been disbanded without keeping me in the loop. If this continues, I don't think there is any future for me or for the Congress party in Konkan. You will soon see me do the ultimate. I am waiting for the auspicious season of Navratri to begin," Rane said.
Rane was originally a firebrand Shiv Sena leader and was very active in Mumbai in the 1980s and 90s. Rane became chief minister of the State for six months during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in 1999. However, later he fell out with Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and crossed over to the Congress.
BJP's number two in the State government, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said a few days ago that the BJP will be happy if Narayan Rane wants to join it. Rane, a controversial personality known for his brash style of functioning and high-handed behaviour, lost the recent elections on his home turf.
Rane and his sons face several criminal cases in their home district.
Shiv Sena’s Deepak Kesarkar beat Rane in the Assembly polls in 2014, giving an indication that Rane might be losing control of his home district.
However, the Congress offered Rane a seat in the State Legislative Council later and tried to save Rane from becoming politically irrelevant.
Now, Rane feels that he has no scope in the Congress and wants to cross over to the BJP.