The BJP on Saturday asserted that there was no question of accomodating industries minister Narayan Rane in the party. The leader of the opposition in state assembly Eknath Khadse said, “ There is no question of taking Rane in the BJP. There is no such formal proposal from Rane seeking to join the BJP.”
Khadse’s assertion came in the backdrop of growing speculations that Rane is likely to make some major announcements in a few days.
Rane who shared cordial relations with BJP leaders has been also voicing his unrest within the Congress. In the recent past he had written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi complaining against the functioning of Prithviraj Chavan style of work in government. Rane had also expressed his unhappiness over Chavan’s soft peddling against NCP, who be believes was responsible for the defeat of his son Nilesh Rane in the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency in Lok Sabha elections.
A close aide of Rane said, “ Rane shares good relations with BJP leaders as he had worked with them in Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra. But after he joined Congress, he had always kept his distance from BJP. So, where is the question of joining the BJP.”
According to senior officials in state Congress, “ Chavan has made concerted attempts to address the concerns of Rane. It is very surprising why he should be unhappy.”
The state Congress leaders are quick to point out, “ Rane should also take the onus of defeat in his own home turf instead of blaming the NCP alone.” Adding, “ Ahead of the assembly elections both state Congress, AICC and CM will work to pacify the party ministers and leaders by addressing their concerns.”
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However, Congress leaders in state and AICC are confident that Rane is here to stay in the party.