Sena has no respect left for Rane, says Subhash Desai

first_imgPune: While the Congress is reportedly trying to convince strongman Narayan Rane to remain in the party fold, the Shiv Sena appears to have no love lost for its former leader.Shiv Sena leader and State Industries Minister Subhash Desai said on Friday that “the Sena did not value Rane at all”.Speaking in Kolhapur, Mr. Desai dismissed speculation about Mr. Rane returning to the saffron party, terming the rumours “utterly false”. “We have no respect left for him. It makes little difference to us which party accepts him,” he said.There has been buzz about Mr. Rane defecting to either the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Sena, ever since his meetings with top BJP brass like Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah in January and April, respectively.Despite Mr. Rane downplaying his meetings with BJP leaders, he has been in touch with them, and has also hinted at returning to the Sena. Last month, on the eve of his 65th birthday, Mr. Rane had said he owed his political existence and achievements to the late Shiv Sena president Bal Thackeray.However, while the BJP top brass has expressed interest in bringing Mr. Rane on board, the Sena has been dismissive of his inclusion. Mr. Rane acrimoniously exited the Sena in 2005, after his relations with current party president Uddhav Thackeray soured.Mr. Rane served as Chief Minister for a brief period in 1999 when the Sena-BJP coalition came to power. He represented Kudal in Sindhudurg district as an MLA for six terms, before being trounced by the Sena’s Vaibhav Naik in the 2014 Assembly elections by more than 10,200 votes. Despite his influence in the region, popular anger against his strong-arm tactics coupled with sanction to controversial ecological projects were his undoing. Fallouts with former aides Rajan Teli and Ravindra Phatak, and the Sena’s Deepak Kesarkar further undercut his hold over the region.The election defeat, the steady erosion of the Congress in the recently concluded civic polls, along with Mr. Rane’s frequent clashes with local Congress leaders, have spurred speculation about his defection.last_img

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