Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday struck an aggressive stance in the Legislative Council and targeted his political rival and Congress leader Narayan Rane over a series of cases registered in his home turf Sindhudurg.
Fadnavis was reacting to attacks on him and the party by Rane, who had, during a discussion on the Ahmednagar rape-murder, called the BJP a “goonda party”. He had said, “Fadnavis is not competent and two shadow chief ministers are helping him in the government.”
A section within the Congress now fears that, “Rane’s aggression is helping in forging greater unity between the Shiv Sena and the BJP.”
Fadnavis, while responding to the debate, replied to the attack: “Well, you call BJP a goonda party. Look at the irony of who is calling a the party a goonda.”
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Rane’s name has surfaced in several crimes in the Sindhudurg (Konkan) region. Shiv Sena members listed these cases, leading with murder of Shridhar Naik and Govikar committed in Rane’s home turf, much to the embarrassment of the Congress.
Fadnavis said, “What has appalled me is Rane giving lessons in politics. Well we all know that Rane often loses his temper and when angry, blurts out something which he changes after three months. So I know we don’t have to take everything he says seriously.”
He continued, “Let us take examples of how adversely he spoke against former Congress chief minister Ashok Chavan. Or what he said about Prithviraj Chavan. Now, we all consider Ahmed Patel as a national senior leader. But Rane had accused even Ahmed Patel of selling Maharashtra along with Ashok Chavan and the late Vilasrao Deshmukh. Rane even went on to say, ‘I have no confidence in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.’ But then it was the same Rane who started speaking good about Ashok Chavan, and Sonia Gandhi after a few months.”
Rane who is otherwise extremely vocal, was seen listening to Fadnavis in rapt attention.
Fadnavis said, “I always like to avoid politics and adhere to valid issues. But since Rane’s entire attack on me was political, I have been forced to reply.”