Keeps everyone guessing on his next move, says he will be touring Maharashtra.
Mumbai: After firing a salvo at the Congress, senior leader Narayan Rane on Thursday resigned from the party and as a Member of Legislative Council.
The former Congress leader did not reveal his future course of action, but it is learned that he will be touring the state for nine days beginning Friday. Mr Rane is expected to declare his decision on Dussehra. Meanwhile, his son Nitesh, continues to be a Congress MLA.
In his speech at Kankavali, he said, “I have sent my resignation from the Congress party to (party president) Sonia Gandhi at around 2.30 pm on Thursday. I have also resigned from the post of MLC and sent the resignation to the president. I do not run behind posts; rather, I get them. Not only from Sindhudurg but Congress workers and corporators from across the state are contacting me and expressing their willingness to join me.”
Mr Rane also claimed that Shiv Sena leaders had contacted him and expressed their desire to join him. Along with Mr Rane, the entire party executives’ wing has also resigned from the Congress.
Asked if his son Nitesh had quit the Congress, Mr Rane replied in the negative. “There are many MLAs from Congress and Sena who want to join me. But I will disclose it at the appropriate time,” he said.
Mr Rane has kept everyone guessing as to whether he will join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or form his own independent political group. However, he has clarified that he will never return to the Sena fold.
About the tour, the senior leader said, “I will start my tour from Nagpur. I want to show Ashok Chavan that the people will support me without any post. I will decide in the next few days about my political future.”
“I was promised the chief ministerial post but never got it. Prithviraj Chavan even changed my ministry from revenue to industries. Ashok Chavan too was against me as MLC. But Rahul Gandhi gave me the opportunity,” Mr Rane said.
Meanwhile, state Congress chief Ashok Chavan on Thursday said that the reasons cited by senior leader Narayan Rane for leaving the party were "devoid of facts". "I came to know through television channels that Rane has decided to leave the party and resign from party posts. Whatever reasons he gave are devoid of facts. I wish him luck for his future assignments. I will put forth the facts in due course," said Mr Chavan, who was often targeted by Mr Rane when the latter expressed his resentment about the way Congress treated him.
Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe dismissed Mr Rane's claim that her party had invited him to return to its fold. "I do not have any clue if any offer was made at all. But it is improbable that someone approached him and he declined," Mr Gorhe said.
As speculation is rife that Mr Rane may join the BJP, the ruling party said it was an occasion for the Congress to introspect. "People are not happy with the organisation. The Congress is on the verge of destruction. If senior leaders are quitting the party for not being treated properly, the party needs to introspect," said Atul Shah, state BJP spokesperson.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik, on the other hand, hit out at Mr Rane, calling him hungry for power. "The Congress gave him a ministerial berth and made him a member of Legislative Council. When his party is out of power, this greedy man, who cannot live without power, is knocking on BJP's doors. The question is whether the BJP will accept him or will he become another Shankersinh Vaghela," he said.