Former chief minister Narayan Rane, who recently released an autobiography titled No Holds Barred, co-authored with Priyam Gandhi-Mody, said leaving the Shiv Sena was difficult since he could not be away from the party’s late founder Balasaheb Thackeray.
Rane was at the seventh edition of the Pune International Literature Festival.
“Shiv Sena was Shiv Sena until Balasaheb Thackeray was alive. Now, there’s no morality left among Sena MLAs. While Marathi manoos are being pushed out of Mumbai, in the municipal corporation (controlled by the Sena), people take bribes and do the job. Shiv Sainiks today know that they can become corporators, MLAs or a mayor by paying money,” Rane said, accusing the party of hindering his entry into the BJP.
Rane said when he wanted to enter the BJP, Shiv Sena made it difficult, proving to be an obstacle.
“The Shiv Sena made my entry into the BJP difficult,” he said. Rane, who has announced the merger of his party with the BJP, is likely to join in the next couple of days.
The autobiography describes his tenure in the Sena, his exit from the party, his entry into the Congress, the establishment of his own party and his election to the Rajya Sabha on a BJP nomination. It also explores his relations with the Thackerays, Pramod Mahajan, Gopinath Munde, Manohar Joshi, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Ashok Chavan, Devendra Fadnavis, Sharad Pawar, Ahmed Patel and the Gandhi family.
At the literature festival, however, Rane narrated the differences he had with present Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, which resulted in him walking out of the party, adding how Raj Thackeray later approached him to start a party together.
“I hail from Konkan and came to Mumbai with my family but later, I was left with my uncle in Chembur to complete my higher education. During that time, there were around 18 per cent Maharashtrians in that area. The new emerging party, Shiv Sena, was wholeheartedly welcomed as they believed it will improve their situation in the city when it came to jobs and housing. I decided to join the Sena. The only obstacle that came in my way was my age. I was 16,” said Rane.
He further narrated that he had requested an older friend to pay Rs 2 as his enrolment fee, through which he not only became a Shiv Sainik but also entered politics.
“I first encountered Balasaheb Thackeray at one of his public speeches in Chembur,” he said. Rane talked about his journey from working with the income tax department to being appointed as the chairman of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport to later being appointed as the chief minister of the third largest state in the country.
When asked about the present situation of the Congress, he said it was because of its leaders and their perceptions.
When asked by a member of the audience if he ever wished to go back and do more for the society, Rane said, “I have pride about the work I have done. I would not want it any other way and I swell with pride about the work I have done… I have no regrets.”