Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
Mumbai: Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, who resigned as the Industries Minister from the cabinet of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan owing to some differences with the latter a fortnight ago, may resign from the primary membership of the party on Tuesday.
If reports are to be believed, then Rane – a powerful figure in the Maharashtra politics – may even spring a surprise for his Congress party as he is expected to clear stand on his political future today.
It`s been fifteen days since he quit the Chavan government, but the Congress high command has still not accepted his resignation, despite Rane pressing the top leadership to do so.
After quitting as the Industries Minister, Rane also issued an ultimatum and put forth a list of demands before the party central leadership.
Though at that time, Rane threw indications that he is not leaving the Congress party, but there are strong rumours that he may actually quit Congress, which he joined in 2005.
Rane is believed to be keen on joining the BJP and is said to be in regular touch with its senior leaders. Though, neither side has said anything in this regard so far.
Sources close to Rane claim that he is apparently upset with the way Congress high command has treated him over his resignation issue and he has now made up his mind to switch sides.
Some even say that he may actually float his own political outfit to fulfil his political ambitions.
Rane`s son, Nitesh runs an NGO called `Swabhiman Sanghatna`, and there are rumours that instead of establishing a new party, he may turn this NGO into a political party.
A week ago, the Congress high command had assured Rane that all issues raised by him will be properly addressed. Rane even met party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to explain his stand, and also had a closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre to iron out the issues, but the meetings failed to reach any logical conclusion.
Rane had joined the Congress after he quit the Shiv Sena in 2005, eyeing the chief minister`s chair, but his dream remains unfulfilled till date. The senior leader had also offered his resignation in May 2014 after his son Nilesh Rane was defeated by Shiv Sena candidate Vinayak Raut by 1.5 lakh votes in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Rane had served as chief minister for nine months while in the Shiv Sena in 1999, when the NDA government was at the helm of affairs in Maharashtra. In 2005, soon after joining Congress, he was inducted as a minister in the Vilasrao Deshmukh government.