Rane forms new party, likely to play ball with BJP in State

Narayan Rane Rane

Mr Rane's circuitous route was chalked out after a series of meetings with BJP chief Amit Shah, party sources said.

"I have made a decision to form a new party, it will be called Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh", Rane said on Sunday.

The 65-year-old Konkan leader, at the fag end of his career, faces the challenge of getting his son - Congress legislator Nitesh Rane - elected on his party symbol, getting himself elected as Member of Legislative Council, enlisting the support of sitting Sena and Congress legislators, and winning the upcoming panchayat polls in his hometown.

Rane has been the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for almost a year back in 1999 with the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.




"Let my party get set up first". The editorial said that while the Sena disagreed with the BJP, it would continue the alliance for the benefit of the people.

"We allied with BJP for Hindutva when the word Hindutva was taboo; if they (BJP) thinks we are of no use to them, we'll see", the Shiv Sena chief said. "We will never oppose development-related work like the bullet train project".

Mr. Rane singled out Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan for criticism. "Isn't that duplicity?" Thackeray's diatribe against the BJP also took in the recent lathi charge against the Banaras Hindu University students who complained about molestation, "notices to youth who post messages which criticise the government", and, among others, its "anti-farmer" policies. Rane showed a glimpse of that strategy during the press conference as he criticized Uddhav Thackeray's Dusserrah speech on Saturday. "But when it comes to the Shiv Sena, you always seem to have a problem", Thackeray said. "Sena keeps opposing everything". The Shiv Sena chief made his comments while addressing the annual Dussehra rally of his party at Mumbai's Shivaji Park. "Even Pakistan has cheaper petrol than us", he said. "Vaghela in Gujarat and now Narayan Rane in Maharashtra, both launched a new party".

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