Ravi Rana will soon join party: BJP

The Asian Age.  | Sonu Shrivastava

Metros, Mumbai

Rana, however, denied that he will join the party, adding that his party may join the saffron alliance in the coming days.

Ravi Rana

Mumbai: Independent MLA Ravi Rana will soon be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a senior BJP leader said on Sunday.

“Mr Rana will join the party by the end of July or first week of August,” he said.

Mr Rana, however, denied that he will join the party, adding that his party may join the saffron alliance in the coming days.

Speaking to The Asian Age, Mr Rana said, “As I have my own party, I will not join the BJP. We are holding discussions for a possible alliance,” Mr Rana is also the president of Yuva Swabhimani Party (YSP).     

If Mr Rana — or his party — joins the BJP, it would be a big jolt for the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-led Opposition. It is to be noted that his wife, Navneet Rana, contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election as an Independent backed by the Congress-NCP alliance.

Ms Rana, a former Telugu film actress, defeated veteran Shiv Sena parliamentarian and long-time Amravati MP Anandrao Adsul by over 30,000 votes.

The development comes just days after his wife met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on his 49th birthday and donated her first month’s salary to the chief minister’s relief fund.

With the Assembly election less than three months away, the BJP has been welcoming Opposition leaders. Among the bigger names that have switched over to the ruling alliance in the recent past are Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Jaydutt Kshirsagar. At present, both are ministers in the Fadnavis Cabinet.

Mr Rana, who was elected as an Independent from Badnera constituency in 2014, had declared support to the Fadnavis-led government. Moreover, he is still considered close to the chief minister. However, the two-time MLA joined hands with the Opposition ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

In 2014, Navneet had contested on an NCP ticket but was defeated by Mr Adsul by over one lakh votes.

The state of Maharash-tra will be electing its 288-member Legislative Assembly in September-October 2019.

It is expected that the BJP and the Shiv Sena will fight against the Congress-NCP alliance in the upcoming election.

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