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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Narayan Rane made mistake when he quit Sena, say Pawar, Gadkari

The leaders were present at the book launch of Rane’s autobiography ‘No Holds Barred’, released in English and Marathi, at YB Chavan Centre on Friday. State ministers Vinod Tawde and Ashish Shelar, too, were in attendance.

mumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2019 04:47 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Rane said that while in the ruling party, politicians are compelled to back the government decisions unwillingly.
Rane said that while in the ruling party, politicians are compelled to back the government decisions unwillingly.(HT image)
         

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari said that former chief minister (CM) Narayan Rane made a mistake when he quit the Shiv Sena in 2005. While Gadkari said the political scenario in the state would have been different had Rane not quit, Pawar said Rane mistakenly believed he would be made CM on joining the Congress.

The leaders were present at the book launch of Rane’s autobiography ‘No Holds Barred’, released in English and Marathi, at YB Chavan Centre on Friday. State ministers Vinod Tawde and Ashish Shelar, too, were in attendance.

Addressing the gathering, Rane said that in his book, he had avoided writing about his early years in the Shiv Sena. “The primary years of the party were entirely different and cannot be referred to openly. It was just because of the blessings of my forefathers that I have been graced with a long life, as many of my colleagues from then lost their lives or were languishing in jails.”

Sharad Pawar, who chaired the function, said, “I personally feel that he [Rane] should not have left his party in 2005. He was one of the trusted lieutenants of Sena chief Bal Thackeray for years and [Thackeray] gave him a lot of political honours. After quitting the party, Rane was in two minds over joining a new party and whether he should choose Congress or NCP. He had met me before taking decision. I don’t know if joining the Congress was a mistake,” he said.

“He thought the promise of making him the CM will be fulfilled. But Congress is a party where decisions are never taken quickly. Rane was new to the culture. But leaders like me know that these assurances are given for the sake of it and without surety of their fulfilment,” said Pawar.

Gadkari said that he tried to convince Rane not to quit the Sena. “My relationship with Rane goes beyond politics. In my personal political life, I have respect for only two leaders, Rane and the late Gopinath Munde. [In 2005], I visited Rane personally at his residence, a few days before he decided to quit Sena. He said he was compelled to take the decision owing to equations within the party.”

“I personally felt that it as mistake. Had Rane not quit the Shiv Sena, the political scenario in the state would have been totally different. He would have played a major role today,” Gadkari said.

Rane said he was indebted to the late Bal Thackeray. “I never asked for anything in Shiv Sena. I would get the posts without asking for them. Quitting Sena was a decision taken out of compulsion. I wrote a six-page letter and handed it over to Balasaheb during my last meeting with him. He called me up the next day and requested me to not quit. I never went back as Uddhav Thackeray had threatened his father that he would leave the house if Rane stayed back in the party.”

Rane said that while in the ruling party, politicians are compelled to back the government decisions unwillingly. “My decision of becoming a Rajya Sabha member was taken unwillingly. I wanted to be in Maharashtra politics and serve the state. We call Maharashtra a progressive state, but the prosperity has not reached to the common people yet. There are lot many things that need to be done,” said Rane.

First Published: Aug 16, 2019 23:57 IST