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Narayan Rane accepts BJP’s Rajya Sabha offer ‘till cabinet reshuffle issue resolved’

Narayan Rane quit the Shiv Sena in 2005 and later joined the Congress. He ended his over-a-decade-long association with the Congress in September last year.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2018 22:50 IST
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Narayan Rane,Rajya Sabha,Rajya Sabha election
Narayan Rane was the former chief minister of Maharashtra.(HT File Photo)

After a five-month wait to get inducted into the Maharashtra cabinet, former chief minister Narayan Rane accepted the BJP’s offer of Rajya Sabha candidature.

An aide of Rane confirmed the development and said the leader was likely to file his nomination on Monday.

“The BJP has some issues in inducting Rane in the state cabinet, but they also do not want to leave a senior leader like him without any responsibility.

“He was offered the Rajya Sabha seat, which he has decided to accept until the issues over cabinet reshuffle are resolved,” said the aide.

“He has been promised that his name will surely be considered whenever the state cabinet reshuffle happens,” the aide said.

Rane was offered Rajya Sabha candidature by BJP chief Amit Shah in a meeting held on February 28. Rane, who was hoping to be inducted in the state cabinet, is said to have been briefed about why it was tough for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to appoint him as a minister.

A senior BJP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said Rane was left with no option but to accept the offer. “The party has clearly indicated him that they cannot give him specific timeframe when the cabinet reshuffle will happen. However, he can contest Rajya Sabha elections for now,” the BJP leader said.

Rane quit the Congress in September 2017 after fallout with the party leadership. He was speculated to join the BJP, but later ended up floating his own political outfit, the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha (MSP). He joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after reportedly being assured a cabinet berth.

However, the BJP leadership kept him waiting for five months, prompting Rane to express his resentment openly, saying his patience was being tested. Shiv Sena, BJP’s ally in the state and at the Centre, is strongly opposed to Rane’s induction in the cabinet.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 17:45 IST