Former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane, who has quit the Congress, met BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi today. Rane quit the Congress earlier this week amid speculation that he was keen on joining the BJP. Rane met several Maharashtra BJP leaders, including state BJP chief Raosaheb Patil Danve, earlier in the day before meeting Shah, sources said. “Rane met Shah this evening. There was no political discussion during the meeting,” state BJP sources said here. Rane had gone to Delhi to invite Shah for inauguration of a hospital at Padwe in Kudal in Sindhudurg district, a source close to the Maratha leader said.
Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, when asked recently about the possibility of Rane joining the saffron party, had said that a decision in this regard would be taken by Shah, as Rane is a senior leader and a former chief minister. Announcing his decision to quit the Congress in his home turf of Sindhudurg district in the coastal Maharashtra, Rane had accused the Congress of reneging on the promise of making him the state’s chief minister when he joined the party 12 years ago after leaving the Shiv Sena.
He was the chief minister of Maharashtra in 1999 while in the Shiv Sena. “I have not yet decided where to go,” he said while announcing his exit from the Congress, adding that he would make an announcement before Dussehra, which falls on September 30. The former firebrand Sena leader had joined the Congress in 2005.
Speculation about Rane joining the BJP was triggered by reports suggesting that he had met Shah in Ahmedabad a few months ago. During the recent Ganesh festival, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had visited Rane’s residence.