Former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on October 2, according to the reports. Rane is currently an independent Rajya Sabha member supported by BJP.
Rane, a CM during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in 1999, quit the Shiv Sena in 2004 and joined the Congress. He then quit the Congress, and was hoping to join the BJP. However, the BJP leadership asked Rane to float his own party, saying it would be merged with the BJP at an appropriate time. Rane floated the Swabhimany Paksha, but he is still waiting for an invitation from BJP.
Earlier, Senior Shiv Sena leader and MoS Home, Deepak Vasant Kesarkar has urged the BJP not to take the risk of inducting Rane into the party.
Rane had issued statements regarding merging his party 'Swabhiman' with the BJP ahead of the assembly elections. Rane was personally present to welcome Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's 'Mahajanadesh Yatra' in Kankavali.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rane said, "I have discussed with my supporters the reasons behind joining the BJP. They will be with me. I don't know when exactly my entry in BJP will take place, but it will be in another 8 days."
"I am not concerned whether the alliance with Shiv Sena happens or not. If I join the BJP, I can assure that the entire district will turn into a BJP stronghold. And both the MPs in the district in future will be that of BJP," Rane added.
But Rane's inclination towards the BJP has not gone down well with ally Shiv Sena.