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Row erupts over Rajya Sabha nomination for former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane

Rane has filed a nomination form for Rajya Sabha elections through the BJP quota even though he heads a local party, floated by him, Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh.

mumbai Updated: Mar 15, 2018 00:56 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,rajya sabha,narayan rane
Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh leader Narayan Rane (centre) at the Vidhan Bhavan on Wednesday.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

A day after Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab raised questions over Narayan Rane filing Rajya Sabha nomination on a BJP ticket, senior legislator Jayant Patil (Peasants and Workers Party) raised questions over the membership of Vinayak Mete, Sada Khot and Mahadev Jankar in the Legislative Council.

Patil said the three leaders are heads of registered political outfits but are members of the Council as BJP members.

Rane has filed a nomination form for Rajya Sabha elections through the BJP quota even though he heads a local party, floated by him, Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh. His son and Congress legislator, Nitesh Rane, said such allegations were politically motivated. “If Ramdas Athawale can be a president of the RPI(A) and still get nomination under BJP quota, why can’t Rane get nominated under the BJP quota? There is absolutely no constitutional issue with this,” Nitesh Rane said.

In the Council, however, Patil used Sena’s strategy to point out that Khot was a member of Raju Shetti’s Swambhiman Paksh, while Jankar and Mete head Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Shiv Sangram, respectively. Mete, Jankar and Khot were nominated to the Vidhan Parishad in 2015 biennial and 2016 biennial elections (Khot). Since then Khot, a minister in the government has launched his party.

“I am taking up a constitutional issue here. How are Mete, Khot and Jankar, who head their respective parties that are registered with the Election Commission, members of this House with a BJP nomination?” Patil asked.

Speaking on behalf of the government, state education minister Vinod Tawde said the state election commission officials scrutinised the documents that were submitted by the three legislators and were admitted. Council chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar said that a meeting with legislature secretariat officials and state election commission officials will be held to discuss the issue and opinion of the Attorney General will be sought, if needed.

BJP spokesperson, Madhav Bhandari also clarified that Rane had not officially joined the BJP.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 00:55 IST