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Amid rumours of joining BJP, Congress’ Narayan Rane criticises his party, NCP

The statement came at a time when the Opposition is ready to kick off the fourth leg of the protest march in Konkan from May 11

mumbai Updated: May 13, 2017 01:10 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Bharatiya Janata party,Narayan Rane,Congress
The Sena leadership considers Rane its enemy.(File)

Amid rumours that he may join the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), senior Congress leader Narayan Rane said the Sangharsh Yatra, a protest march initiated by the Congress and the NCP-led Opposition to demand loan waiver for distressed farmers, is a flop show. The Yatra was started in March to interact with farmers and families affected by suicides.

“If the Sangharsh Yatra was launched after the budget session of the state legislature, it would have got a good response. But as of now, the march is a flop show,” Rane told a Marathi news channel.

His statement comes at a time when the Opposition is ready to kick off the fourth leg of Yatra in Konkan from May 11. Rane is an influential leader from Sindhudurg district in Konkan.

Rane also dared the Shiv Sena to pull out support from the BJP-led Maharashtra government. “They [Shiv Sena] have threatened to move out if I join the BJP. I dare them to do so. Many of their MLAs are in touch with us,” he said.

Speculations are rife that Rane is currently in talks with the BJP leadership and also met its national president, Amit Shah, in Ahmedabad last month. Rane, however, has rubbished these speculations.

According to BJP sources, the party is not in a hurry to admit him till the Presidential elections are over, as it wants the Shiv Sena to vote in favour of an NDA candidate. Moreover, the Sena leadership considers Rane — once a Shiv Sainik — its enemy.

The former chief minister is currently unhappy with state Congress president Ashok Chavan and wants to replace him. He had met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel, political advisor to party chief Sonia Gandhi, with his demand.

First Published: May 09, 2017 13:13 IST