Former Congress leader Narayan Rane on Sunday launched the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh, his political party, promising to work closely with the ruling BJP in Maharashtra.
Rane was forced to float the outfit after he quit the Congress, following reservations in the BJP over his speculated induction.
Since he has made it clear the Congress and Shiv Sena are his political rivals, the BJP may accommodate him in the grand alliance led by it in Maharashtra, though the party is non-committal on immediately giving him a cabinet berth.
Explaining the objective of his party, Rane said: “We will focus our politics on development, and work for common people.” In a departure from his aggressive politics, the Konkan strongman said: “We are not going to adopt double standards like the Shiv Sena, which is playing both a ruling and an Opposition role.”
Exercising utmost caution not to antagonise the BJP leadership, he said, “If there are any issues where things are going wrong, I can always discuss it with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.”
Conceding that there were some hurdles that might have worked against his entry in the BJP, Rane said, “We would like to ally with the NDA at the Centre and in the state.”
Batting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bullet train project, Rane slammed Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, questioning their understanding of development projects.
Taking a dig at Uddhav, he said, “Some people feel if you target the top leadership (read the PM), you become bigger too.”
Rane added: “Now, Raj says, we will not allow a brick to be laid for the bullet train. Go ahead, who has stopped? My party will not protest any project for the sake of politics.”
He, however, expressed reservations over the manner in which demonetisation was implemented.