Union minister, ex-Maha CM Narayan Rane is BJP’s choice for Ratnagiri Sindhudurg | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Union minister, ex-Maha CM Narayan Rane is BJP’s choice for Ratnagiri Sindhudurg

Apr 18, 2024 12:55 PM IST

The seat is currently held by Vinayak Raut of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) who has remained loyal to the Shiv Sena (UBT)

Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday announced that Union minister Narayan Rane will be the party’s candidate for the Ratnagiri Sindhudurg constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

File photo of Union minister Narayan Rane. (HT File Photo.)
File photo of Union minister Narayan Rane. (HT File Photo.)

The seat is currently held by Vinayak Raut of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) who has remained loyal to the Shiv Sena (UBT) and declared as the party’s candidate for the election.

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The Eknath Shinde camp had claimed the seat, with Kiran Samant, brother of Industries minister Uday Samant, expressing interest in contesting. Despite several meetings with chief minister Eknath Shinde, the BJP finally decided to field Rane.

Though the decision is likely to upset the Samant family, which hails from the Ratnagiri district, they have said that they will support Rane in the polls. The Shiv Sena (UBT) has a strong base in the Konkan belt, with many of its prominent leaders and functionaries hailing from the Ratnagiri Sindhudurg area. The Thackerays have extensively toured the region and have declared their support for Raut who began campaigning a few weeks ago.

Rane has said that he will file his nomination on April 19 at 11 am, stating that the area will be developed further once he becomes an MP.

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Rane began his political career as a Shiv Sainik, working in the income tax department. He contested the BMC polls, becoming a corporator and later the chairman of the BEST committee. In 1991, he was elected as an MLA from Sindhudurg, and in 1995, he was appointed as the dairy development minister. He later became the revenue minister, and in 1999, Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray appointed him as the chief minister.

After the Shiv Sena lost power, Rane became the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly. However, due to differences with Uddhav Thackeray, he switched to the Congress party with a handful of MLAs, challenging Uddhav’s leadership. Rane also had differences with the Congress leadership and resigned as industries minister in 2014. He contested the assembly polls and lost, as well as the Bandra East constituency by-poll.

In 2016, the Congress party appointed him as an MLC. Rane had also set up his own political outfit, the Maharashtra Swabhiman Party, which later merged with the BJP when he joined the party in 2017. In July 2021, Rane was appointed as a Union minister.

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