Narayan Rane quits Congress, says ‘no scope for me in the party’

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New Delhi: In a big setback to the Congress, Maharashtra’s former Chief Minister Narayan Rane on September 21 announced his decision to quit the party.
Rane had accused the Congress of reneging on the promise of making him the CM and ranted against the party over “injustice” done to him and his supporters.
“I went to Congress because I was assured that I will be made chief minister in six months,” Rane, who joined the Congress in 2005 after being expelled from the Shiv Sena, said, adding, “I waited for 12 years, when I found that there was no scope for me in the Congress, I have decided to quit from the primary membership of the party and membership of the legislative council.”
He has also written a brief letter to Sonia Gandhi intimating his resignation.
In his hour long speech, Rane came down heavily on State Congress president Ashok Chavan and Ahmed Patel for taking him for a ride.
“I did join the Congress, but all along, I was strongly opposed by none other Ashok Chavan for obvious political reasons. Congress lacks commitment and determination to take on the BJP and Shiv Sena,” Rane said.
Rane, who has pockets of influence in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, was expelled by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray after he voiced displeasure over Uddhav Thackeray gaining prominence in the party.
From Friday, Rane will be on the state wide tour, beginning from Nagpur, home town of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and later Nanded, home town of Ashok Chavan.
Rane, a tough talking Maratha leader, who was handpicked by Bal Thackeray as chief minister when he decided to remove the genial Manohar Joshi ahead of the 2005 Assembly elections, has also claimed that he had received an offer from the Shiv Sena to return to its fold.
He, however, did not say if he was offered any post.
There is speculation about his joining the BJP. There were reports that he had met BJP president Amit Shah in Ahmedabad a few months ago. During the recent Ganesh festival, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had visited Rane’s residence, fuelling it further.
Rane, however, didn’t comment on his possible entry in BJP, but declared that the future course of action will be decided before Dussehra. Rane claimed that senior Congress and Shiv Sena leaders across the state will soon join him.

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