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Cong suspends Rane, he says ‘I welcome it’

Congress suspended Maharashtra leader Narayan Rane, a day after his outburst against the party President Sonia Gandhi and a number of others when he lost the chief ministerial race.

On being intimated about his suspension from the Congress party, Narayan Rane said that, “I welcome my suspension from Congress”. Rane also claimed support of 30 MLAs.

“If I decide, the new Congress-led government in Maharashtra cannot be formed, but I won’t do any such thing in the backdrop of the situation arising out of the terror attacks,” a fuming Rane added.

Earlier, Congress suspended Maharashtra leader Narayan Rane, a day after his outburst against the party President Sonia Gandhi and a number of others when he lost the chief ministerial race.

“It has been observed that after the announcement of the new leader of the CLP in Maharashtra, Narayan Rane is making public statements deliberately with a view to lowering the prestige of the Indian National Congress,” said AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

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“The party has taken a serious view of his utterances and considering this as a case of gross indiscipline, Narayan Rane has been suspended from the party with immediate effect,” he said in a statement hours before Rane was scheduled to hold a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday.

Rane, who was overlooked by the party high command in favour Ashok Chavan for Chief Ministership, had attacked the Congress leadership yesterday accusing it of reneging on a promise to make him the chief minister.

“I don’t trust even Sonia Gandhi anymore”, he said which party sources said was the trigger for his suspension. Rane, a leader from the Konkan area who had left Shiv Sena three years ago, had attacked not only Deshmukh but also Ashok Chavan and some central leaders and accused them of conspiring and ignoring his claim for the top job in the state.

Deshmukh hits back Rane

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Hitting back at Narayan Rane, outgoing Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said on Saturday that the former Shiv Sena leader had joined Congress only to become CM.

Deshmukh, in a statement, said Rane’s allegations against him smack of ideological bankruptcy. “The comments are uncultured and shows his frustration,” Deshmukh said.

He said Rane’s sole intention behind joining the Congress was to become the Chief Minister and he was “frustrated” as his aim remained fulfilled.

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The Congress suspended Rane for his outburst against the party President Sonia Gandhi and a number of others after loosing the chief ministerial race.

Rane, who joined Congress in 2005 after three decades in Shiv Sena, had ridiculed both Chief Minister designate Ashok Chavan and Deshmukh and remarked “I don’t trust even Sonia Gandhi anymore.”

Deshmukh who visited ‘Chaityabhoomi’ in the morning to pay respects to Dr B R Ambedkar, attended a programme in the Congress office in Central Mumbai and met legislators who called on him at ‘Varsha’.

Meanwhile, Chavan was at Sahaydri, the state government guest house, since morning to discuss probable names to be included in his ministry. He held talks with several legislators.

First published on: 06-12-2008 at 03:59:04 pm
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