How can BJP accommodate Narayan Rane and his notorious kids who had once threatened to wipe out Gujarati community and Modi supporters out of Mumbai?
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane resigned from all the Congress party posts that he held on September 21. The Congress party is also expected to disqualify him as their MLC (Member of Legislative Council). He has launched his own party called-Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh. According to sources, his party is all set to join the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and Rane will also be inducted in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet.
English journalists often refer him as an influential leader. But, anyone with sound knowledge of Maharashtra’s politics would be able to point out that Rane has lost his influence during the last few years.
Rane started his political career with Shiv Sena and even served as state’s chief minister for a year during Sena- BJP rule between 1995 and 1999. The senior leader from Konkan was disqualified from Shiv Sena in 2005 due to his differences with Uddhav Thackeray. Rane’s exit proved to be a turning point for Sena as he left the party with 14 MLAs.
After joining the Congress, Rane worked as state cabinet minister but slowly kept on losing his popularity. He lost his Kudal Vidhansabha Constituency seat in 2014 and tasted defeat again in 2015 (by-election) when he contested on Congress ticket from Mumbai’s Vandre East Vidhansabha constituency. In Kudal, Rane had lost by around 10,000 votes and again by around 19,000 in Vandre East by-election. He was appointed as MLC by the Congress party in 2015.
The former chief minister’s elder son Nilesh Rane lost his Lok Sabha polls from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency in 2014 while the younger son represents Konkan’s Kankavli Vidhansabha constituency as its MLA, since 2014.
Has lost significance
As of now, according to HT’s report, the former chief minister has the support of only two Congress MLAs. First is his son Nitesh Rane and the second MLA is Kalidas Kolambkar. To put it in simple words, Rane has crossed the bridge only with two MLAs this time.
Now, the most important question, can Rane prove to be helping hand for the BJP which wants to reach the magic figure 144 without taking help from Shiv Sena in the state assembly? Or, will he prove to be another liability, especially, due to his son Nitesh who keeps on saying silliest things?
In November 2014, he tweeted against the Gujarati community in Maharashtra and suggested people should start Swatch Bharat Campaign by sweeping out Gujaratis from Maharashtra. He even urged Gujarati Modi supporters to leave Mumbai. Besides these controversies, the MLA is also facing several criminal cases.
Related: Narayan Rane launches new party, indicates willingness to align with NDA
The Bhartiya Janta Party often pats its own back for choosing leaders with a clean image as state cabinet and central ministers. So, how would the state BJP leadership and CM accommodate Rane and his notorious kids? Plus, appointing Rane as a minister may not prove to be good for BJP’s alliance with Shiv Sena as the latter has already said it would break the alliance with NDA if Rane is allowed to be a part of state government.