Sainik-turned-Congressman, Narayan Rane has received a jolt as one of his trusted supporters, Shrikant Sarmalkar, has resigned as chief of the Rane-controlled labour union.
Sarmalkar, ex-Shiv Sena Member of Legislative Assembly, had defected to the Congress along with Rane four years ago. Later, he was made president of the Samarth Kamgar Sena that extended its influence to various sectors in the city.
Sarmalkar refused to comment on his resignation, but a source told Hindustan Times that Sarmalkar was upset over Rane’s leadership. “The clash between the two intensified after the union celebrated its anniversary on September 6.”
Sarmalkar is unhappy because Rane did not get him a plum post in the Congress even after four years. Another reason that prompted his resignation is the undue promotion of Rane's two sons. “Rane’s younger son Nitesh interferes in the Sarmalkar-led union as its de-facto general secretary. Rane quit Sena citing Balasaheb’s (Thackeray's) preference for his son Uddhav. Rane too is doing a Thackeray now.”
But Nitesh told the media that his father would try to resolve the matter. “My father and Sarmalkar are still close friends. They will sort this out and ensure that our union keeps on working properly.”
Sarmalkar, if not rehabilitated properly, is expected to join the Shiv Sena. In 2008, Rane’s trusted supporter Vijay Wadettiwar revolted against the leader when Rane demanded the CM’s post.
Wadettiwar was made a minister in the Ashok Chavan cabinet. Another supporter, Jayawant Parab too abandoned Rane last year.