Buzz is that many Congress and Shiv Sena MLAs plan to quit and join Mr Rane in the next few days.
Mumbai: A day after former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane left Congress, he kept mum over his next move. Mr Rane was supposed to start a tour of Maharashtra from Friday but he returned to Mumbai from the Konkan. The Congress leadership has, meanwhile, refrained from commenting on the issue.
Mr Rane had left the Congress alleging state party president Ashok Chavan was not allowing him to work.
However, Mr Chavan refused to comment on the issue at this stage. “Whatever I have heard about Rane is through the media. I do not want to speak about it now. I will talk at the appropriate time. I wish him the best for his future,” said Mr Chavan, who was in Nanded for the party’s civic body polls campaign.
Sources close to Mr Rane said that the leader had returned to Mumbai on Friday. Also, his sons — MLA Nitesh and former member of Parliament Nilesh — have not quit the party.
There were also rumours that many Congress and Shiv Sena MLAs would quit their respective parties to join Mr Rane. However, there was no confirmation from anyone.
In the Congress, sources said that the party would have another face in the Konkan even if Rane leaves.
“We will have many leaders from Konkan who would lead the party there. Our leadership will take the call at appropriate time. Let Rane speak about his future action first,” a Congress leader said.
Mr Rane left the Shiv Sena to join the Congress in 2005. His inclusion in the Congress helped the party strengthen its position in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Konkan.
The Congress bagged the Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 general elections. Sources said Mr Rane was inducted in the Congress with an assurance of being made the chief minister but the Congress never kept its word.
The Konkan strongman lost the 2014 Assembly election in Sindhudurg and the 2015 bye poll in Bandra (west), Mumbai. His son Nilesh Rane who was an MP in 2009 also lost in 2014 to Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut.