Setting aside rumours of joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane on Sunday announced that he will form a new party which will be called “Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh”. Rane had quit Congress last month accusing party of breaking its promise of appointing him the chief minister years ago. Rane, known for his aggressive style of politics, hails from the coastal Konkan region. Rane was earlier with Shiv Sena and then for 12 years with the Congress. The leader kept political circles guessing whether he would join the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance or not.
“The motto of the MSP shall be fulfilling all our commitments and work for the interests of the people of the state. After setting up the party organization, we shall decide on our future course including allying with the NDA,” Rane said. Rane served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for nearly one year (1999) in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance which ruled the state between 1995-1999.
He was known for being a close aide of former Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Later, Rane served as Opposition Leader before quitting the party to join the Congress in 2005, IANS reports. Speculation is rife that Rane was planning to switch over to the BJP. He had even met BJP President Amit Shah, state BJP chief Raosaheb Patil-Danve and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on several occasions.