Senior Congressman and Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, who is under fire following attempt to murder allegations against his younger son, Nitesh, will have to fight a lone battle against the Opposition and adversaries in the Democratic Front government.
The Congress high command has taken a serious note of the shooting allegation that has caused embarrassment to the party. It has instructed state leaders, including Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, to avoid rallying behind the Ranes. The leaders also want updates on the police case that has been registered against Nitesh.
“Since this tricky case is being reported widely in the national media, the party high-command doesn’t want the Congress-led state government to earn any further bad publicity,” a senior minister told Hindustan Times requesting anonymity.
The minister said that some senior Congress leaders did not want Rane to lead the party’s campaign for the October 31 Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) polls because the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine had launched a scathing attack on the leader after the shoot-out controversy.
But, in absence of clear instructions that he should keep away from KDMC polls, a composed Rane successfully held seat-sharing talks on Saturday with the Nationalist Congress Party at his official residence Gyaneshwari.
Meanwhile, Chavan is reported to have assured an impartial police probe. Chavan’s office refused to provide any official information. NCP that controls the police through its senior leader and home minister RR Patil has also preferred to keep a safe distance from Rane.