Former Congress leader Narayan Rane joins NDA

Former Congress leader Narayan Rane joins NDA
In a significant political development that would dominate the political scenario of Maharashtra for some time, veteran politician Narayan Rane on Friday announced joining the BJP-NDA.

On the eve of Gandhi jayanti and a day after Dassera, Rane had floated Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha (MSP) after leaving the Congress- with which he was associated for 12 years after he was expelled from Shiv Sena by Balasaheb Thackeray.

"For the overall development of Maharashtra, for addressing the issues of the people and give impetus to the growth of Konkan region, the MSP is joining the NDA," Rane said.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP president Raosaheb Patil-Danve had sent feelers to the political heavyweight to join the NDA.

"Couple of days ago, the chief minister requested me to join NDA. I had asked for two days time. Accordingly, we are joining the NDA," he told reporters in his home district of Sindhudurg.

However, Rane, a Maratha leader and a former chief minister, has not yet said anything whether he would join the ministry.

The Shiv Sena, which is the oldest partner of BJP, is yet to react on the development. "We have not been  conveyed anything officially," a senior  Sena leader said.

Rane is a bete noire of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and they do not leave any chance to target each other politically.

In fact, since the time he formed MSP, he had come to the defence of prime minister Narendra Modi on the issue of bullet train project and had been seen stonewalling criticism of Uddhav and his estranged cousin and MNS president Raj Thackeray.

Rane's entry into the NDA would come as a major breather to Fadnavis, who has been under constant attack of the Sena. Uddhav's party has been attacking Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
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