Debating India

Rane to quit as "Sena Leader"

Sunday 3 July 2005, by BHATT*Arunkumar

Leader of the Opposition post to be retained

MUMBAI: The former Chief Minister and Shiv Sena Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, Narayan Rane, on Saturday announced his intention to resign as "Sena Leader".

Mr. Rane told a press conference here late in the evening that he intended to resign from the post of the Leader and Team Member because he was not being invited to meetings of top leaders of the party. He said he would meet Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Sunday morning and submit his resignation. Interestingly, he is not resigning from the post of Leader of the Opposition and as Leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party.

The resignation comes ahead of a meeting of Shiv Sena legislators and top functionaries, convened by Mr. Thackeray in the wake of rumours in the local media recently that Mr. Rane was preparing to quit the party and would probably join the NCP. Mr. Rane was in the U.S. at that time.

This piqued Mr. Thackeray so much that he made a statement in the party mouthpiece, Samana, urging his partymen not to trust "such bubbles from the media." "Mr. Rane is a staunch Shiv Sainik who would never betray the party." His denial, however, accorded some credence to the rumour.

Just a few days earlier, Mr. Thackeray made similar statements denying that three high profile MPs of the Shiv Sena, including the former Union Minister, Suresh Prabhu, were to quit the party.

On returning home, Mr. Rane also denied that he was to quit the party.

But he made a serious charge that rumours about him were being floated by insiders of the Sena. This floated another speculation that he was probably pointing a finger at Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray.

See online : The Hindu

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