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BJP would have won Maharashtra Assembly polls had it not gone with Shiv Sena, says Narayan Rane

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane. File photo.

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane. File photo.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

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BJP leader and former CM Narayan Rane said that the new ‘Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government’ under Uddhav Thackeray will not last more than two months.

Remarking that the alliance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the Shiv Sena ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election had been a “mistake”, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Narayan Rane on Sunday targeted Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray yet again by stating that the new Chief Minister lacked “adequate knowledge” about issues of the State.

Speaking in Solapur, Mr. Rane asserted that the BJP would have swept the Assembly poll had it contested on its own strength.

“We [the BJP] put a lot of trust in the Sena and fought the Assembly poll with them…but this proved to be a mistake. Had we gone it alone, today the BJP would have formed the government in Maharashtra,” he claimed.

The Konkan strongman, once an ardent Shiv Sainik but now a bitter foe of his former party, further said that the new Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government under Mr. Thackeray would not last more than two months.

‘Nominal Chief Minister’

“Uddhav Thackeray has no proper knowledge nor has done adequate study of the pressing issues afflicting the State…he is just a nominal Chief Minister,” said Mr. Rane.

Mr. Rane had formally joined the BJP and merged his party — the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha (MSP) — in October last year ahead of the Assembly poll.

In September 2017, Mr. Rane severed his decade plus-long association with the Congress which he had joined following his acrimonious exit from the Sena.

His exit from the Congress, equally laden with acrimony, was with the expectation that the BJP, which is weak in the Konkan belt, would welcome him with open arms.

At the time of his exit, Mr. Rane had vowed to deplete the ranks of his former parties, the Shiv Sena and the Congress.

Since then, he has repeatedly targeted his former party, the Sena, launching vitriolic attacks on Mr. Thackeray.

Ahead of the elections, Mr. Thackeray had warned his then ally, the BJP, that the Sena would exit the saffron coalition if the BJP inducted Mr. Rane.

As a result, the Kankavli Assembly segment, in particular, and the Konkan belt, in general, had turned out to be a major flashpoint between the erstwhile saffron allies where the BJP and the Sena, despite contesting together, had propped up their own candidates.

The BJP fielded Mr. Rane’s youngest son, sitting MLA Nitesh Rane, from the Kankavli Assembly segment — a move that severely irked the Sena which in turn propped up its own nominee, local Sena leader Satish Sawant.

To checkmate the Sena, Mr. Rane also fielded his aides, Rajan Teli and Ranjit Desai, against the Sena’s nominees Deepak Kesarkar and Vaibhav Naik for the Sawantwadi and Kudal seats, respectively.

However, in spite of Mr. Rane leaving no stone unturned to checkmate the Sena in the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg belt, the BJP could win only two seats, including the Kankavli seat.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 1:13:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-would-have-won-maharashtra-assembly-polls-had-it-not-gone-with-shiv-sena-says-narayan-rane/article30484518.ece

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