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Maharashtra minister Uday Samant backs Narayan Rane’s candidature from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat

Samant announced the withdrawal of his brother Kiran Samant from the race.
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 09:22 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 09:22 IST

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Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his brother Kiran Samant from the race in the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat, declaring support to Union minister and BJP candidate Narayan Rane.

Kiran Samant of the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and BJP had staked claims to the Ratnagiri-Sindhdurg seat in the state’s coastal Konkan region. However, the BJP on Thursday announced Rane’s nomination from the constituency.

The Shiv Sena (UBT), a constituent of the opposition bloc Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), has fielded two-time MP Vinayak Raut from the seat.

“When Union minister Amit Shah intervened in this seat, when the chief minister issued directions and an old colleague like (Deputy Chief Minister) Devendra Fadnavis advised us, we decided to take four steps backwards. This does not mean it's an end to his (Kiran’s) future,” Samant said.

Samant said he hoped that his elder brother Kiran would get 'due respect' in the ruling Mahayuti alliance, which comprises the BJP, Shiv Sena and the Ajit Pawar-led NCP.

“Even if Narayan Rane is a Mahayuti candidate, we will fully back him,” Samant said.

The Samant family enjoys a lot of clout in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.

He said Kiran had several options but then that would have hurt Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Fadnavis because the two made “honest attempts for them”.

Samant said Kiran even had an offer to contest on BJP’s lotus symbol, but he declined.

“Our motto is to ensure that the (opposition) INDI Alliance candidate does not get elected,” Samant said.

The Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency, which covers the key coastal districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, has traditionally been a bastion of the undivided Shiv Sena. After the party split in June 2022, Vinayak Raut supported the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena (UBT), which has now renominated him from the seat.

Rane's elder son Nilesh Rane had won this Lok Sabha seat in 2009 when the Rane family was a part of the Congress. Nilesh was renominated by the Congress but lost to Raut in 2014.

Raut retained the constituency in 2019 when Nilesh contested as the candidate of Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, a political outfit floated by his father. The outfit was later merged into the BJP.

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Published 18 April 2024, 09:22 IST

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