Cong moves first, cuts Rane’s Konkan base

Dis­bands All Com­mit­tees In Sind­hudurg

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Pra­fulla.Marpak­war @times­group.com

Mum­bai: In a pre-emp­tive move, state Con­gress pres­i­dent Ashok Cha­van on Satur­day dis­solved the en­tire Sind­hudurg dis­trict Con­gress com­mit­tee led by Datta Sa­mant as well as the block Con­gress com­mit­tees con­trolled by se­nior Con­gress leader Narayan Rane. Con­gress ex­pects that sooner or later, Rane will quit the party and join the BJP.

Vikas Sawant, son of for­mer min­is­ter Bhai Sawant, will be the new pres­i­dent of the Dis­trict Con­gress Com­mit­tee. Cha­van con­firmed to TOI that since not a sin­gle mem­ber was en­rolled in the dis­trict, it was not pos­si­ble to hold the or­gan­i­sa­tional elec­tions; as a re­sult, the party had no op­tion but to sack the dis­trict pres­i­dent and dis­solve all com­mit­tees. “We have ini­ti­ated the process for or­gan­i­sa­tional elec­tions. It was found that in the re­cent past, not a sin­gle mem­ber was en­rolled in the en­tire dis­trict. Un­der such cir­cum­stances, it was de­cided to dis­solve all the com­mit­tees,’’ Cha­van said.

Aweek ago, Con­gress had April 12, 2017 | Narayan Rane makes un­sched­uled visit to Ahmed­abad, meets Amit Shah in the CM’s pres­ence June 23 | Rane praises Modi, Gad­kari and Fad­navis, say­ing they have vi­sion Aug 9 | CM gives Rane a key role dur­ing talks with Maratha ac­tivists Aug 25 | Fad­navis vis­its Rane’s home dur­ing Gan­pati Aug 27 | de­puted Ra­jya Sabha mem­ber Hu­sain Dal­wai and Con­gress gen­eral sec­re­tary Ra­jan Bhos­ale for an on-the-spot study of the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the dis­trict in the wake of re­ports that the Rane fam­ily may quit Con­gress and join the BJP. The main re­spon­si­bil­ity on Dal­wai and Bhos­ale was to as­sess the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion and en­sure that Con­gress ac­tivists stay with the party and do not join the BJP.

In Con­gress cir­cles, it is be­lieved that Rane, along with his sons Nilesh and Nitesh, will soon join the BJP, maybe af­ter the Navra­tri fes­ti­val. In the re­cent past, CM Deven­dra Fad­navis and state BJP pres­i­dent Raosa­heb Danve had vis­ited Rane’s res­i­dence. If a BJP cab­i­net mem­ber is to be be­lieved, BJP has of­fered Rane nom­i­na­tion to the Ra­jya Shah in city; a min­is­ter says Rane’s en­try for­mula dis­cussed in a BJP meet­ing Aug 28 | Raosa­heb Danve calls on Rane at his home Sabha, in­duc­tion of Nitesh as a min­is­ter of state and nom­i­na­tion of Nilesh to the state leg­isla­tive coun­cil, while Rane has sub­mit­ted that he should be in­ducted into the state cab­i­net, Nilesh to Ra­jya Sabha or Lok Sabha and Nitesh to the state as­sem­bly.

“Since we have set the tar­get of 350-plus seats for Lok Sabha and 200 for as­sem­bly, we feel Rane, who has con­sid­er­able clout in Konkan re­gion, will help us im­prove our strength,” said the BJP cab­i­net mem­ber.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Nilesh lost to Sena’s Vi­nayak Raut in Sind­hu­drug-Rat­na­giri con­stituency while Rane him­self lost from Ku­dal. Rane made an un­suc­cess­ful bid to con­test a by-poll from Ban­dra, but was mauled by Shiv Sena nom­i­nee Trupti Sawant.

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