Kankavali: Training his guns on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane on Sunday said that Assembly elections results would not be different from the Lok Sabha polls if they were fought under the present leadership.
When asked by reporters whether a different result (vis-a-vis rout of Congress-NCP in Maharashtra in Lok Sabha polls) was possible under the "present leadership", Rane, believed to be nursing the ambition of becoming the Chief Minister, said it would not be different and that was the reason he was going to quit the ministry tomorrow (as announced earlier).
He is scheduled to meet the Chief Minister at 10 am tomorrow in Mumbai.
Earlier, addressing his supporters here, Rane, who quit Shiv Sena in 2005 to join Congress, said he was yet to take a call on his future political course.
The former Chief Minister hit out at Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for his remarks yesterday that he prayed to God so that Rane got "mental peace" in whichever political party he might end up.
"Uddhav does not know that those who do good for others get rewarded by the God. Those who harass and torment others get punished," Rane said.
"I am resigning happily as I am a fighter," he told his supporters, and sought their backing.
Rane also warned his critics that he would come out with a strong response. He also targeted former NCP MLA from neighbouring Sawantwadi, Deepak Kesarkar, who did not support his son, Nilesh Rane, during the Lok Sabha elections. Nilesh lost to the Shiv Sena candidate.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, Kesarkar told reporters that he would file a defamation suit against Rane seeking Rs 5 crore in damages for making baseless personal allegations.
"Rane is ungrateful. It was Shiv Sena which made him big and appointed him Chief Minister. But he neither attended the funeral of (Sena supremo) Balasaheb Thackeray nor visited Uddhav Thackeray (after his father`s death)," Kesarkar said.
Kesarkar said he was ready to contest the Assembly election against Rane from Sawantwadi. "I accept his challenge to contest against him. He has money power but I have the support of the masses. Otherwise, why did Nilesh Rane have deficit of 42,000 votes in Sawantwadi Assembly segment (of Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha constituency)?" he asked.
Criticising Rane for his "bullying language", Kesarkar said the people should take a stand to put an end to this.