Former Congress leader Narayan Rane on Sunday announced that he will form a new political party which will be called Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh. Rane who is a key leader in Maharashtra had quit the Congress on September 21, this year.
"The motto of the MSP shall be fulfilling all our commitments and work for the interests of the people of the state. After setting up the party organization, we shall decide on our future course including allying with the NDA," Rane said.
After announcing his exit from the party, he had said that in the 12 years that he was with the Congress, the high command did not make use of his capabilities. "I went to a national party with great hopes...yet, during all my 12 years with the Congress, they never made use of my capacity. Instead, I was insulted," he had claimed.
On Sunday, Rane also hit out at Shiv Sena for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a liar. Targeting Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, he said: "Don’t you want development? Balasaheb Thackeray said a Marathi manoos should be rich at heart. But Uddhav's heart is rotten. He played the role of Raavan yesterday when he called PM Modi a liar. I didn’t like it," Rane was quoted as saying at the press conference.
He also accused Shiv Sena of selling party tickets. "No one in Shiv Sena gets a ticket without paying crores. If you are in power, you have to give suggestions. Are you helpless in power, Uddhav," he asked. He added that Sena will not leave the government, but will be "kicked out".
Rane was the Chief Minister for nearly one year (1999) in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance which ruled the state between 1995-1999, later he served as Opposition Leader before quitting the party to join the Congress in 2005 which he left last month.
The birth of the MSP marking his third political inning was welcomed with the bursting of firecrackers, beating of drums and processions in his home district Sindhudurg and other parts.
Since past few months, speculation was rife that Rane was planning to switch over to the BJP and had even met BJP President Amit Shah, state BJP chief Raosaheb Patil-Danve and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on several occasions.
With the MSP entering the fray, the Maharashtra political landscape vying for the Maharashtrian votes became further crowded with the BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Republican Party of India, several local and state-level parties, besides other national parties having their state units here.