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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Maharashtra minister Narayan Rane resigns

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 21, 2014
First Published: 13:43 IST(21/7/2014) | Last Updated: 14:46 IST(21/7/2014)
Sulking Maharashtra industries minister Narayan Rane handed over his letter of resignation to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan at his residence on Monday.
 
Following Congress’ worst-ever performance in Maharashtra in the recent Lok Sabha election, Rane has blamed Prithviraj Chavan for the party’s defeat.
 
“I don’t want to be part of the government that is headed for a defeat in assembly elections. Unless Prithiviraj Chavan is replaced, there are no hopes for Congress in Maharashtra,” Rane said on a tour of his home turf Konkan over the weekend.?
 
The Congress party was wiped out in recent polls with only two members of Parliament elected out of the 27 seats contested.
 
He will address a press conference in the afternoon to explain the reasons behind his resignation and spell out his future plans.
 
So far, Rane has maintained that he will not quit the party.
 
However, the Konkan leader has expressed unhappiness with Prithviraj Chavan and questioned his leadership.
 
He has also complained against the party high command for not keeping the promise made to him when he joined the party in 2005. Rane has alleged he was promised CM post but overlooked twice in the last nine years.
 
A former chief minister, he quit the Shiv Sena in 2005 after falling out with Uddhav Thackeray. Sena chief late Bal Thackeray was promoting Uddhav which didn’t go down well with Rane, who was the then leader of opposition in state assembly.
 
Rane targeted Uddhav and quit the Sena to join Congress. He was inducted as a minister in Vilasrao Deshmukh government.
 
When Deshmukh had to resign as chief minister post 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Congress leadership chose Ashok Chavan as chief minister instead.
 
Alleging that he was betrayed by the Congress top brass which had promised that it will make him the chief minister when he joined the party, Rane turned a rebel once again.
 
He was later accommodated in the ministry by Ashok Chavan.
 
The Konkan strongman was expecting his elevation when Ashok Chavan had to resign after the Adarsh Housing Society scam in 2010 but soon made peace with incumbent Prithviraj Chavan.
 
However, the bonhomie did not last long as Rane started criticising the ‘slow-decision making’ of the chief minister.
 
This is the third time Rane has taken an extreme stand in his political career.
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