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Inducting Rane into Maharashtra Cabinet will cause BJP embarrassment: Sena minister

Deepak Kesarkar raises questions over cases pending against Narayan Rane; Rane’s sons threaten to sue him for making false allegations

mumbai Updated: Nov 10, 2017 17:12 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
MAHARASHTRA POLITICS,BJP,NARAYAN RANE
Narayan Rane(HT File)

Minister of state for home and senior Shiv Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar has raised questions over the pending cases, including allegations of disproportionate assets, against former chief minister Narayan Rane, who is expected to be inducted in the Maharashtra Cabinet soon.

The minister also demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should clarify if the lists sent to the Supreme Court by the state government on politicians with pending cases against them has Rane’s and his sons’ names on them.

An arch-rival of Rane from the coastal district of Sindhudurg, Kesarkar said the BJP and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should think twice before inducting Rane into the Cabinet to avoid embarrassment in the future. “Recently, the Supreme Court directed state governments to expedite the hearing of pending criminal cases against politicians. The state government, as per SC directive, has submitted lists of politicians’ names with pending criminal cases and those facing charges of amassing disproportionate assets. I know it is not appropriate for the government to disclose the names submitted, but it should at least tell the people of Maharashtra that the lists do not feature the names of Rane and his sons,” Kesarkar told HT.

Kesarkar also said that hearings in a public interest litigation filed after a complaint was registered by ED against Rane is at an advanced stage in court, and the verdict is expected soon. “Four hearings in the PIL have already been held, and the result is expected in the next couple of weeks.

Rane has threatened to sue the minister for the false allegations. “We are sending him a legal notice for defaming us and constitutional institutions such as the Enforcement Directorate. The allegations are baseless and politically motivated,” said Nitesh Rane, a Congress MLA and Rane’s younger son.

“If the ruling in the PIL goes against him or the SC raises questions referring to the names submitted to it by the government, it will be a major embarrassment for the government,” the minister said.

Kesarkar has also pointed out that there are cases pending against Rane’s sons Nilesh and Nitesh. “Everybody knows that Nitesh and Nilesh are facing cases of criminal intimidation,” he said.

Nitesh Rane told HT: “The allegations levelled by Kesarkar are because of the threat to his political career if Rane saab is inducted into the Cabinet. We do not want to give much importance to Kesarkar. He should know that as elected representatives, we have been disclosing our assets and information about criminal cases whenever we contest elections. Had there been any substance in the allegations, we would have been disqualified.”

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 17:12 IST