Fadnavis is set to reshuffle his Cabinet before Diwali.
Mumbai: Former Congress leader Narayan Rane on Friday announced that his newly launched party, Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh, would support the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Mr Rane’s decision comes in the wake of a meeting with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis two days ago. Now, it remains to be seen if the state government inducts the veteran politician into the Maharashtra Cabinet, as an expansion is on the cards.
Mr Fadnavis is set to reshuffle his Cabinet before Diwali. According to the buzz in the corridors of power, the rejig is likely to take place on October 10.
While addressing a press conference in Sindhudurg, his home district, Mr Rane said that he had accepted the chief minister’s offer to be a part of the NDA. “To solve the issue of the Konkan and the state, I have decided to accept Mr Fadnavis’ offer. Also, I have decided to be involved in state politics till 2019,” said the former Congress leader.
There is, however, another aspect to be considered: Shiv Sena. Originally a Shiv Sainik, Mr Rane quit the Sena to join the Congress in 2005. He has shared a bitter equation with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray ever since. The leader also trained his guns on Mr Thackeray and his former party while announcing his party’s formation last week. Therefore, Mr Rane’s joining the state Cabinet would be embarrassing for the Sena, whose cadre is likely to force the NDA leadership to take decision on the matter.
Mr Rane’s inclusion in the NDA would strengthen the Bharatiya Janata Party, particularly in the Konkan area where party had failed to get a single MLA elected in the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. The induction of Mr Rane, who could prove useful to the saffron party by tackling the Sena threat in the Konkan and Mumbai, can be seen as the start of BJP’s preparations for the big battle of 2019.