Rane likely to get ministerial berth | india | Hindustan Times
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Rane likely to get ministerial berth

After revoking his suspension early this week, the Congress is all set to induct former Revenue Minister Narayan Rane in the state Cabinet, reports Dharmendra Jore.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2009 00:58 IST
Dharmendra Jore

After revoking his suspension early this week, the Congress is all set to induct former Revenue Minister Narayan Rane in the state Cabinet.

Rane was suspended in December for his outburst against the party.

The party forgave him after the leader said that he was sorry for his anti-party conduct. Sources in the party said Rane would most probably be sworn in before the model code for election comes into effect later this month or early March.

A few other Congress ministers are also likely to take oath of office.

A senior Congress leader, requesting anonymity, said Rane’s induction into the Cabinet is crucial for party because he has the ability to nullify the overshadowing influence of some ministers of coalition partner Nationalist Congress Party.

“The NCP ministers always try to outsmart Congress colleagues and take advantage of various government schemes. Also, the reward would encourage Rane to work hard in the ensuing elections,” he said.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who pulled strings to revoke Rane’s suspension, is reported to have got high command’s approval to expand his Cabinet. Both Chavan and Rane met party president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday.

Rane said he was ready to take up any responsibility given by the party. But if he gets a ministerial berth, he will have to be content with any of the three departments —Industry, Housing or Urban Development — that are Chavan’s additional responsibility.

Rane will not retain his earlier charge of Revenue Department, which is considered the second most powerful department after the Chief Minister’s Office because senior minister Patanrao Kadam holds it and he won’t let it go to anybody else.