With Maratha strongman and NCP chief Sharad Pawar gearing up for hard bargain with the Congress in Maharashtra for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,the Congress on Monday decided to revoke the suspension of former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane to put an end to the bickering in the party ranks in the state.
Rane on Monday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi after the announcement of the revocation of his suspension from the party. Sources said Rane was likely to join the Maharashtra Government soon.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has approved a proposal to revoke the suspension of Narayan Rane with immediate effects,” Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan told reporters on Monday.
The revocation followed Rane’s meeting with A K Antony,in-charge of Maharashtra unit of the party,and Ahmed Patel,political secretary to the Congress president,about a fortnight back. Rane was learnt to have “regretted” his outbursts against the Congress leadership in the meeting with both the leaders. As reported by The Indian Express earlier,the Congress high command had decided to revoke the suspension after Rane’s meeting with the Congress leaders.
Rane on Monday expressed his willingness to work for the party. “I will do whatever responsibility the Congress president gives me. I will do my best for the Congress party,” Rane told The Indian Express after his meeting with Sonia Gandhi.
Rane was suspended from the party late last year after his outbursts against the Congress president for being sidelined for the post of Maharashtra chief ministership.
Subsequently,the NCP had tried to rope in Narayan Rane to its fold ahead of Lok Sabha elections. The Congress’ decision to revoke his suspension is an attempt to keep its flock together as Pawar tries to strengthen his bargaining power with the Congress ahead of seat-sharing talks for Lok Sabha elections.