Narayan Rane refuses to budge, wants Sonias audience

Written by Press Trust of India | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 23 2014, 06:10am hrs
A day after Congress Konkan strongman Narayan Rane quit the Maharashtra cabinet, efforts to persuade him to withdraw his resignation failed on Tuesday.

Now, the matter will be referred to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for a solution.

Rane, who had a closed-door meeting with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre to iron out issues that led to his stepping down, remained unpacified and insisted on the acceptance of his resignation. It was decided that the CM will seek an appointment with Gandhi in the next couple of days. Chavan, Manikrao Thakre and I will then meet her to discuss issues I have raised, Rane told reporters.

Chavan tried to persuade me to withdraw my resignation and work in the government and the party, saying that my services were needed. But I responded by telling him that the issues raised by me in my resignation letter need to be addressed first, he said.

Asked if he was offered the post of state Congress president as a solution to the impasse, he said, No such offer was made. The solution lies in acceptance of my resignation.

Later, Chavan told reporters he had asked Rane to withdraw his resignation and assured him the issues raised in his letter would be communicated to the partys centralleadership. We discussed at length. I will brief the high command and All India Congress Committee general secretary Mohan Prakash about my discussions with Rane. I will try to resolve state-level issues raised by him, he said. Though contents of his resignation letter are not known, Rane has made public his discontent with the Congress leadership for not making him the chief minister, a promise he claims was made to him when he joined the party after quitting the Shiv Sena in 2005.

Congress has not honoured the commitment it made. I was told I will be made CM in six months. But in nine years the promise has not been kept, Rane had told reporters after tendering his resignation on Tuesday.

Rane, a former Shiv Sena chief minister, had also slammed Chavan for tardy decision-making and lack of control over administration. He said with Chavan at the helm, the partys prospects in the assembly elections, due in October, were bleak.