MUMBAI: In a blow to the ruling Congress, Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane on Thursday announced that he would resign from the government on Monday.
There is a speculation that Rane, a former Shiv Sena Chief Minister, has knocked on the BJP’s door. However, he maintained that he would remain with the Congress.
Rane had put in his papers on May 16 following his son Nilesh’s huge defeat in the recently held Lok Sabha election from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency, but Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had not accepted them.
“I will resign from the government, but not from the Congress,” Rane said.
He is sulking in the party for some time as the party has not given heed to his claim for the CM’s post.
“The party did not utilise my potential fully,” he had said a week before the Lok Sabha elections. A source said Rane had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few days ago along with a city-based industrialist to facilitate his entry into the BJP.
Modi has not given his nod for the same yet.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari is in favour of Rane’s induction in the party. However, a section in the party as well as the RSS is against it.
The RSS believes that Rane’s image as a street fighter will be harmful to the party. The organisation has already issued a warning that it would stay aloof of the party’s campaign if Rane joins the party.
Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Vinod Tawde denied that Rane had contacted the BJP. “He is not in touch with us,” Tawde said.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also has opposed Rane’s entry into the BJP. “I want to make Konkan free of fear. I am hopeful that the BJP will not accept Rane,” Uddhav said.
Rane, a fire brand leader, comes from the Konkan region. He had quit Sena in 2005 after a spat with Uddhav accusing him of selling the party posts in lieu of money.