I won’t join BJP or quit Congress: Narayan Rane
Rane said that he has no complaints against Congress but has reservations about the state leadership and its style of functioning.mumbai Updated: Mar 24, 2017 00:21 IST
Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Narayan Rane on Thursday put to rest all rumours about him joining BJP. He added that the rumours were being spread by leaders of the party.
Rane said that he has no complaints against Congress but has reservations about the state leadership and its style of functioning. “I am not quitting the party. Neither I am planning to join BJP nor have I met anyone from the party,” said the senior Congress leader. He also said, “I keep meeting chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for work and have also travelled with him three times. This does not mean that I am quitting Congress.”
Rumours about the Rane joining the BJP have been making rounds for the last few days. Party supporters in Sindhudurg, his home turf, too had confirmed that their leader was on the verge of quitting Congress. Some of them also said that he was keen to return to Shiv Sena. However, a source claimed that even if Rane had shown interest in returning to the Sena fold, its chief Uddhav Thackeray might not be too keen to accept him as Rane had targeted him before leaving the Sena in 2005. Also, the senior Congress leader is currently under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate following allegations by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya that he is involved in a Rs300-crore money laundering racket.
Even amid the rumours, however, Congress leaders said that Rane is unlikely to quit the party immediately. “In today’s meeting of Congress and NCP leaders held to chalk out a strategy against the government’s policies, Rane made an impressive speech. He spoke for the longest time and pressed for the need to unite and fight against the government’s unjust measures,” a Congress leader said on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Rane’s elder son and former party MP Nilesh Rane — who quit as Congress’s state general secretary on Tuesday — launched a campaign for removal of state Congress president Ashok Chavan. Nilesh holds Chavan responsible for the party’s debacle in the recent polls.
Of late, both Rane and his son Nilesh have been criticising state Congress leadership. On Thursday Nilesh said that Chavan was responsible for the sluggishness among the party workers and their defeat in the elections. “A leader will have to be accountable for his mistakes. He cannot act as an autocrat,” said Nilesh.
While resigning from Congress, Nilesh alleged that the party faced defeat in Ratnagiri district council election as Chavan failed to appoint a district president for the party. He added that Congress’ leadership in the state needed to change and the decision should be taken soon by the party high command.