Though Rane formed a party, the Swabhiman Paksh, few of his supporters joined him including his son and Congress MLA Nitesh Rane.
Mumbai: The ruling Bharathiya Janata Party’s (BJP) bid to woo the Shiv Sena back into its fold suffered a jolt on Saturday after senior leader Narayan Rane, who had entered the Rajya Sabha with BJP support, threatened to end all ties with the party if it were to tie up with the Shiv Sena for the 2019 elections.
“I will not remain in the BJP if the Shiv Sena and the BJP come together for 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” Mr Rane told a Marathi news channel.
“The Sena had opposed my entry into the state Cabinet. They had threatened to quit the alliance if I were to be inducted into the cabinet. So, there is no point in my stay back in the party if the two are going in an alliance,” Mr Rane said.
He termed his erstwhile the party as the enemy of the BJP. “In 2019 election campaign, Shiv Sena will be the enemy. So, if two parties join hands then I will quit BJP,” he said.
Mr Rane had quit the Congress in an attempt to join the BJP. However, the BJP leadership asked him to float a new party as Shiv Sena opposed Rane’s entry.
Though Rane formed a party, the Swabhiman Paksh, few of his supporters joined him including his son and Congress MLA Nitesh Rane. The BJP is yet to take a decision on Mr Rane.
But the BJP helped Mr Rane to get elected to the Rajya Sabha seat from the party’s quota. After taking the oath of office in the Upper House, Mr Rane even hinted at his willingness to merge his party with the BJP. But the BJP’s overture to the Sena could torpedo Mr Rane’s ambitions.