Narayan Rane likely to join BJP

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 01, 2019 Published on September 01, 2019

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane is expected to join the Bharatiya Janata Party next week. The only roadblock to his formal entry is the green signal from Shiv Sena, which is BJP’s ally in the State.

Rane told media persons that he will be joining the BJP on Sunday at a public meeting in Solapur, which would be led by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. But at the time of going to press, Rane was yet to formally join the party.

The Shiv Sena has reservations about Rane as he is seen as a ‘traitor’ by senior members of the party. Rane started his career with the Shiv Sena in the 1970s and later became the Chief Minister of the State.

In 2005, he quit Shiv Sena and joined Congress. Nursing the ambitions of regaining chief ministership, he stayed with the Congress for 12 years but in 2017 quit the party and later floated the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha. His influence is limited to the Konkan region and some pockets in Mumbai.

Rane joining the BJP will strengthen the party in the coastal Konkan region of the State. But his entry in BJP could cause a strain in the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the run-up to the Maharashtra Assembly elections.

On Saturday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told media persons that Rane is an ally of the BJP but whether his regional party will be merged with the BJP, is yet to be decided. Views of the Shiv Sena are crucial in such mergers.

Published on September 01, 2019
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