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Rane ready to face music, stands by comments

india Updated: Dec 25, 2007 02:20 IST
Dharmendra Jore
Dharmendra Jore
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Revenue Minister Narayan Rane on Monday said he stood by his criticism of the Vilasrao Deshmukh-led government in the state. And Chief Minister Deshmukh announced he would soon expand the Cabinet, though he did not divulge details.

Rane, who last week shocked everybody by virtually bringing out into the open the rivalry wracking the Congress in the state, said he was prepared to face any outcome following his condemnation of the government.

“My party has taken note of it after I explained it to the high command, and I’m ready to face any consequences if it amounts to indiscipline,” he told the media, adding that he was mulling over his next political move.

“I’m considering where to put my foot in the near future… but I will ensure I don’t get stuck anywhere.”

Rane on Friday in New Delhi said the state government was being run not for the masses but for only one person. There was no mistaking he meant Deshmukh.

The comment was attacked by some senior party leaders, including Congress media cell head Veerappa Moily. On possible disciplinary action, a cautious Rane said those concerned should scan his comments.

“They may even seek legal advice to decide if my remarks breached party discipline. I have been in politics for the last 40 years and speak to the media only after doing my homework.”

In reply to Rane’s criticism, Deshmukh had said every decision his government took was a collective responsibility of cabinet members, including Rane.

“I will consult him (Rane) whenever needed,” he said. “My position in the government is stable.” Deshmukh and Rane met at a public function on Sunday but restricted their interaction to shaking hands.

Rane admitted he had carried his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi but changed his decision after meeting her.