Rane reportedly told his supporters in Sindhudurg on Thursday that the future of Congress is bleak.
Mumbai: Senior Congress leader and former minister Narayan Rane met his key supporters in Sindhudurg on Thursday and allegedly told them to be ready to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) soon. Sources said that Mr Rane allegedly later went to Delhi on Friday morning. He is set to meet Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and other BJP leaders in the capital. Mr Rane’s supporters are claiming that it is now just matter of time before an official announcement of Mr Rane’s induction in the saffron party.
Mr Rane reportedly told his supporters in Sindhudurg on Thursday that the future of Congress is bleak. “There is no sign of revival. I don’t want to damage your political future,” is what Mr Rane reportedly said in the meeting. He also gave them a brief idea of the changes in the state and district politics that could occur if he entered the BJP.
Senior BJP leader and cabinet minister Chandrakant Patil said, “If Mr Rane wants to join the BJP, he is welcome.” While Maharashtra state Congress chief Ashok Chavan said that he is not worried.
“Some people cannot live without power. So if anyone wants to leave the party it is okay. A new leader will take his place,” Mr Chavan said. This newspaper tried to contact Mr Rane and his son MLA Nitesh Rane but they were unavailable for comment.
A senior leader from the Congress and Mr Rane’s supporter said that the Shiv Sena could take a strong stand against Mr Rane decision to join the BJP. “Mr Rane has asked us to be ready for political conflicts,” said the leader from Sindhudurg.
The BJP is preparing for the 2019 general and assembly elections.
Mr Rane’s entry would boost the party. Despite Mr Rane reputation, his aggressive and hardworking nature has been praiseworthy in political circle.
The Congress, which is already in doldrums, will lose a powerful leader from the state, particularly Konkan.
Mr Rane left the Shiv Sena to join the Congress in 2005. His inclusion in the Congress helped the party strengthen its position in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Konkan.
The Congress bagged the Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 general elections. Sources said that Mr Rane was inducted in the Congress with an assurance being made the chief minister but the Congress never kept its word.
The Konkan strongman lost the 2014 assembly election in Sindhudurg and the 2015 bypoll in Bandra west, Mumbai. His son Nilesh Rane who was an MP in 2009 also lost in 2014 to Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut.
The Rane-BJP Bonhomie