iconimg Friday, May 29, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 16, 2013
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray has accused Congress leader and industries minister Narayan Rane of being involved in land scams in coastal Konkan. Addressing a pubic rally at Khed in Ratnagiri district on Friday, Thackeray said that influential leaders such as Rane, who hails from Malvan in Konkan, force poor locals to sell their land at cheap rates. He urged people to not fall prey to such tactics. He asked them to get involved in only those deals that are meant for tourism development.

Thackeray is on a tour of the regions where his party has a solid base. This is the first time that Thackeray has launched an attack on Rane, who was considered to be his friend from the Shiv Sena days.

On Friday, Thackeray also inducted estranged Sena leader Parshuram Uparkar, who had contested the Assembly bypoll against Rane seven years ago. While Sena had made Uparkar a member of the legislative council, he wasn’t given a second term in the house. The leader developed differences with Sena chief and Raj’s cousin Uddhav Thackeray, which led to his defection on Friday.

Uddhav too had a series of rallies in some parts of the state recently. Both plan to increase their clout ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

Rane did not react to the allegations till the time of going to press.