MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra chief minister and Konkan strongman Narayan Rane, who recently announced that he's quitting the Congress, won't be inducted into the BJP. Instead, he would be made to float a new party or front and would be inducted into the state government as part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), sources within the BJP have said.
"The Shiv Sena won't be comfortable if we induct Rane directly into the party. The same would be the case with some of our own party workers. Hence, the party leadership has decided that instead of inducting him directly into the party, he would be asked to float his own party or front and align with the NDA," a senior minister in the state cabinet said.
"We have got several of our allies elected to the Upper House of the state legislature. So, once Rane joins the NDA, there won't be any problem for him to get elected back to the Upper House," the minister said.
However, the issue of which ministery would be offered to Rane once he decides to join the government has not been considered as yet, he added.
"Though several ministers are handling charge of multiple ministries, all of them are so crucial that the party won't like to part with them. Now only the chief minister handles some of the ministries that can be beneficial for Rane and won't be of much importance for the party in the state," said the minister.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is on a foreign tour to generate cheap finance for infrastructure development projects in the state. He would be back by the weekend.
After that, the Dusserrah celebrations, the election code of conduct for gram panchayat polls, and Diwali celebrations are lined up. Rane's joining of the state government is likely to happen only after that, said the minister.
The expansion of the state cabinet too is likely to happen around the same time, the minister said, adding that the ministers themselves have now started urging the chief minister that the cabinet needs to be expanded to accommodate more party workers as ministers. Appointments in state-owned corporations too are likely to be announced simultaneously.