Maharashtra polls: Narayan Rane's partymen join BJP

 Rane had left the Congress, formed the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha and came to the NDA fold. Photo/Facebook (Narayan Rane)

In a development that would change the political dynamics of the Konkan region, hundreds of supporters of veteran politician Narayan Rane on Tuesday formally joined the BJP. 

The Konkan coastal belt, particularly the south Konkan region, is considered the stronghold of BJP's alliance partner, Shiv Sena. 

At a function, in which Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was present, Rane's elder son and former MP Nilesh joined the BJP. 

Rane's younger son Nitesh, who was a Congress MLA, had joined the BJP a couple of weeks ago and re-contesting from the family seat of Kankavli. 

Technically, all members of Rane-floated Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha joined the BJP. 

"Journalists often asked me, when Rane saheb is joining... a few days ago Nitesh joined, today Nilesh joined... Rane saheb is a Rajya Sabha member,  he had a BJP form... he is already a BJP member," Fadnavis said. 

In their speeches, Fadnavis and Rane ignored any mention of the Shiv Sena. 

A former CM during the erstwhile Shiv Sena-BJP regime, Rane later became the leader of the Opposition but late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray expelled him from the party for raising a banner of revolt against Uddhav. Rane joined the Congress to become a minister but was sidelined and his dream or becoming CM again or state Congress chief was never realised.

 He left the Congress, formed the MSP and came to the NDA fold.

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