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Congress: Rane's outburst is an 'act of indiscipline'

india Updated: Dec 22, 2007 21:52 IST

IANS
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The Congress high command on Saturday described as an "act of indiscipline" senior Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Narayan Rane's public outburst against Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh even as he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Rane, who met Gandhi in the presence of her political secretary Ahmed Patel and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Margaret Alva, left for Mumbai later.

Gandhi is reported to have expressed her displeasure over his public criticism of Deshmukh.

Rane had raised the banner of revolt against the chief minister recently, declaring that the government was not functioning for the people "but for one person".

Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily, who chairs the media cell of the party, said: "No one in the party and no one in the government can make such remarks."

He described Rane's outbursts as an "act of indiscipline" and said that, "grievances if any should be raised in the party forum".

Earlier in the day, Alva, general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, had distanced herself itself from Rane's public outburst. She had told newspersons, "He (Rane) has not said anything on my behest."

"It is for the Congress president to take note of it," she added, referring to Rane's criticism of Deshmukh.

Rane, who joined the Congress after quitting the Shiv Sena two years ago, told some Maharashtrian journalists in New Delhi on Friday that he was "not happy" with the functioning of the state government.

"I am not happy with the functioning of this government of which I am also a part. It is not working for the people in Maharashtra, but for only one person. I can't remain silent for long. Our leadership should realise that the electoral results will go against them if they do not take steps to correct it," he said.

Rane, who arrived here on Friday, had met Alva Friday and explained his differences with the state leadership.

Before meeting Gandhi, he told newspersons on Saturday, "I have come to meet the top leaders" and conceded that, "I had said the government should run for the ordinary people. It is running for only one person. That is why I have come here to meet the leaders."

Rane, who has been unhappy with the state chief minister, went public for the first time against Deshmukh's alleged callousness towards the disadvantaged sections of the society, particularly the slum dwellers among whom Rane has a solid following.