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BJP’s Amit Shah visits Ganpati pandals in Mumbai, but not Narayan Rane’s house

BJP president Amit Shah visited two Ganpati pandals, including Mumbai’s famed ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’

mumbai Updated: Aug 28, 2017 09:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Ganpati,Narayan Rane
(From left) BJP Maharashtra chief Raosaheb Danve Patil, party president Amit Shah and CM Devendra Fadnavis at YB Chavan Centre on Sunday.(Bhushan Koyande/HT)

Even as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ visit to Congress leader Narayan Rane’s house during Ganeshotsav sparked fresh rumours of Rane’s induction into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the shift is unlikely to take place soon.

BJP president Amit Shah visited two Ganpati pandals on Monday, including Mumbai’s famed ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’, which he had prayed at last year too. He later attended the launch of a book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP chief, however, neither formally met Rane nor visited his Juhu residence to participate in festivities.

“There was never any official meeting scheduled between the two leaders. There was no casual communication either,” said Rane’s son, Nitesh.

Fadnavis visited Rane’s house on Friday night. While Nitesh tweeted pictures of the CM’s visit, Rane told reporters that Lord Ganesha has always given him whatever he has asked for, indicating that he was likely to make an announcement soon.

Rane, a former Shiv Sena leader, has influence in the Konkan belt, where the BJP is yet to make a dent.

During his visit to Mumbai, Shah visited the Ganpati mandal at Bandra, headed by BJP’s city chief Ashish Shelar on Sunday. He was accompanied by Union minister Piyush Goyal, BJP Maharashtra president Raosaheb Danve and state minister Vinod Tawde.

The BJP has been trying to strengthen its political clout in Mumbai, through locally popular festivals such as Ganeshotsav and Dahi Handi. Currently, a large number of the Ganpati mandalsare supported by the Shiv Sena, the BJP’s warring ally and prime competitor.

‘Nobody knew who PM was during Cong rule’

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah took a dig at the Congress party, while launching a book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it was only after Modi came to power that people realised the presence and power of the prime ministerial chair.

Shah said that during the Congress rule, nobody knew who the Prime Minister was as all the ministers acted like power centers.

Shah launched ‘Hamare Narendra Bhai’, a book depicting Modi’s journey, at a function held at YB Chavan Centre on Sunday.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other state BJP leaders were present at the event.

Shah said that not a single allegation of corruption was levelled against the Modi government in its three-year rule.

“We have brought transparency in the government and even the opposition could not question us. Modiji ended vote bank politics and focused on performance. This has led to the development of the country,” he said.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 09:29 IST