Home / Politics / Policy /  Narayan Rane soon to be ‘politically rehabilitated’: Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday provided another glimmer of hope to former Congress leader Narayan Rane when he said the latter would soon be “politically rehabilitated". Fadnavis also dismissed ally Shiv Sena’s objections to Rane’s likely inclusion in the state cabinet, saying the former chief minister could be accommodated from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s quota.

Talking informally to reporters on the sidelines of Maharashtra legislature’s ongoing winter session at Nagpur, Fadnavis said the question of Shiv Sena’s displeasure did not arise. “Rane’s political party has declared support to the BJP and he is with us. Naturally, he will be accommodated from the BJP quota and the question of Shiv Sena’s displeasure does not arise," he said.

Rane left the Congress party in September and soon formed a new political party called Maharashtra Swabhimani Paksha which declared support to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. Though Fadnavis gave indications soon after that Rane would be made a minister, the BJP fielded its own nominee for the legislative council by-poll earlier this month. The bypoll was necessitated by Rane’s resignation and the former chief minister was hopeful of the BJP backing his candidature. The Shiv Sena has, however, made clear its reservations over Rane entering the cabinet. Rane was expelled from the Shiv Sena in 2005 after his public outbursts against Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

While Fadnavis offered hope to Rane, he virtually ruled out the return of senior BJP leader and former revenue minister Eknath Khadse to the state cabinet. Khadse had to resign in July 2016 following charges of conflict of interest and misuse of his office. Khadse, a powerful Leuva Patil caste leader from Jalgaon in Khandesh region of Maharashtra, has been frequently taunting Fadnavis and the BJP leadership for ignoring him. Asked if Khadse would be rehabilitated, Fadnavis said only politicians who are not established need rehabilitation. “Khadse is an established and senior politician and his experience is valuable for the party and government. But he does not need to be rehabilitated," Fadnavis said.

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