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Devendra Fadnavis visits Narayan Rane’s home for Ganeshotsav, triggers BJP induction talks again

There has been speculation that Rane will join the BJP this week when party president Amit Shah is in the city.

mumbai Updated: Aug 27, 2017 00:47 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Devendra Fadnavis,Narayan Rane
Narayan Rane’s son and Congress legislator, Nitesh, tweeted a photograph of Fadnavis with them on Saturday.(HT File)

In yet another sign of senior Congress leader Narayan Rane’s possible induction into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), chief minister Devendra Fadnavis visited his house on the occasion of Ganeshotsav festivities on Friday night.

Rane’s son and Congress legislator, Nitesh, tweeted a photograph of Fadnavis with his father and him at their home.

However, senior party leaders told HT that any such induction was not on cards this week or any time soon.

Speaking with reporters at his residence on the issue, Rane indicated that a change was on the lines, but did not spell out his plans. He said, “Lord Ganesha has always been kind to me and has given whatever I have asked for, though in different forms. Very soon we will come to know the form for this time.”

Rane’s remarks and Fadnavis’ visit comes ahead of the party president Amit Shah’s visit to the city on Sunday.

There has been speculation that Rane will join the BJP this week when party president Shah is in the city.

BJP sources said that Rane’s induction can help the party expand its base in Konkan, the only region where the BJP is weak now. And, it could add a heavyweight Maratha leader to the BJP’s fold.

“’Rane’s induction may help us in Konkan and he was useful during the Maratha agitation. But, his induction will not be solely on BJP’s conditions and he is unlikely to get what he wants, that is tickets for himself and his sons. Our top party leadership looks down on dynasty politics and it was difficult for even senior BJP leaders to get tickets for their kin in 2014 polls,” said a senior BJP leader.

Rane’s induction will also further alienate the Shiv Sena, since Rane, a former chief minister and Sena rebel, has had an ongoing feud with the Thackerays. The chief minister may not want trouble on that front also, so soon.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde just a day earlier on Thursday had claimed Rane would not leave the Congress. “Many leaders have left Congress when it was out of power and eventually returned back when the party came back to power. But Rane will not do the same. He will not leave the Congress party,” Shinde told reporters, expressing faith in Rane, who is allegedly unhappy with the party leadership for not considering him for the post of state Congress unit chief.

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 00:46 IST