Can ex-Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane bag votes, win back his council seat?
The seat fell vacant after Rane’s resignation in SeptemberUpdated: Nov 16, 2017 00:25 IST
Around seven weeks after former chief minister Narayan Rane resigned from Congress and as the member of the legislative council, he faces the challenge of getting re-elected to the upper house. Even if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decides to support him, he is still short of 20 votes. On the other hand, three other parties may join hands to ensure that he is defeated.
The seat fell vacant after Rane’s resignation in September. The election will now take place on December 7. To win the seat, a politician needs 145 legislators from the lower house to vote for him. Though Rane expects the BJP’s 122 MLAs to support him, the party has not yet announced who its official candidate is. Even if the BJP stands by Rane, it will be his responsibility to galvanise the remaining votes to ensure victory.
“We have many claimants, including loyalists and leaders who have defected from other parties. Even if we decide to support Rane, it does not mean MLAs from smaller parties supporting us will concede. It will be his responsibility to garner the support of 23 more members,” said a BJP leader, who did not wish to be identified.
“It is a single seat election. The party will have to chalk out a strategy to win it. A decision will be taken after due deliberation,” said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhadari.
Rane said the BJP will take a decision within two days. “I do not think I have a problem wining the seat as the BJP has 138 legislators, including members of smaller parties supporting it, and independents. I also expect to be inducted into the cabinet soon,” Rane told HT.
“If the BJP decides to support Rane, the Shiv Sena will never agree to this. The party will leave no stone unturned to ensure Rane’s defeat. In such a scenario, ensuring Rane’s victory will become a herculean task,” another BJP leader said.
After NCP leader Ajit Pawar announced on Tuesday that there would be no more hobnobbing with the BJP, his party is unlikely to support Rane.
NCP state chief Sunil Tatkare said on Wednesday that the Congress has the rightful claim to the seat and that talks between two parties over whether they should ally for the poll were ongoing.
First Published: Nov 16, 2017 00:25 IST