Rane stirs up trouble, again
Within days of his return to the Congress and re-induction into the state Cabinet, Shiv Sena leader-turned Congress-man Narayan Rane has started making life difficult for Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
First, Rane delayed the allocation of portfolios to new ministers by insisting on a plum portfolio for himself. Then, he demanded that his office should be on the sixth floor of the secretariat building — the same floor as CM Chavan and deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal.
Now, he has begun a campaign against Vijay Wadettiwar, minister of state for forest, tribal welfare and irrigation, who is in the dock for allegedly throwing a file at a female Zilla Parishad office-bearer, Subhadra Kotnake, at Chimur near Nagpur last week.
Wadettiwar is a former Shiv Sena associate of Rane and now a Congress legislator from Chimur. He had abandoned Rane during his two-month suspension from the party and got a Cabinet berth as a reward.
But Rane is reportedly in no mood to forgive Wadettiwar and his other former associates and wants Chief Minister Chavan to replace Wadettiwar with one of his supporters.
He is pressing for Wadettiwar’s arrest, which can take place if the charges against him are proved. And in that case, he will have to quit.
On Sunday, Rane’s younger son Nitesh visited Subhadra Kotnake. He said, “I met her primarily because I wanted to extend our support to her. We are with her in her fight against the minister.” Rane and Chavan, however, were not available for comments.