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Rane predicts doom for Shiv Sena
August 16, 2005 15:01 IST
Last Updated: August 16, 2005 20:53 IST
Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane has predicted doom for the Shiv Sena, saying that the saffron outfit was headed towards destruction and had 'no future'.
The Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine would never come to power in Maharashtra, predicted Rane, who was a minister and later the chief minister when the saffron alliance was in power in the state between 1995 and 1999.
Rane sworn in as Cabinet minister
Rane, who arrived in Nagpur on Tuesday on his first visit to Vidarbha after quitting the Shiv Sena and joining the Congress, was greeted with black flags by Shiv Sena as he was driven from the airport to Ravi Bhawan, the official guesthouse. Earlier, his supporters turned out in large numbers at the airport to receive him despite a heavy downpour.
Speaking to newsmen later, Rane alleged that Shiv-Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' editor Sanjay Raut was creating differences between Raj Thackeray and his cousin Uddhav Thackeray with his articles in the daily. He also alleged that Raut had been entrusted with the task of 'running the daily aground'.
Rane blames Uddhav for Sena's downfall
"A day will come when 'Saamna' would be read only at Matoshri, party chief Balasaheb Thackeray's residence in Mumbai," Rane said.
Raj Thackeray's outburst against his rivals in the party was too little and too late, he said, reacting to the statement made by Thackeray on Monday that 'incompetent people' should be thrown out of the Shiv Sena to pave the way for its re-building from the grassroots level.
Thackeray had also said that Rane's exit was a 'controllable damage'.
"Raj should have raised his voice when a leader like me, who remained dedicated to the party for 38 years and made it strong, was sacked for no reason," Rane said, adding that the young leader was not likely to quit the party.
Raj Thackeray's comments came a day after 'Saamna' criticised the abrupt cancellation of his tour to Sindhudurg, Rane's stronghold. Observers feel the comments in 'Saamna' are an attack by the Uddhav lobby against Raj.
Rane later left for Chimur, where he is scheduled to attend a programme to honour freedom fighters. The programme has been organised by Rane's supporter and Sena legislator Vijay Wadettiwar.
To make things 'official,' Rane will also hold a meeting of officials of his department to review the flood losses in Vidarbha.
Rane to visit Vidharbha to garner support
At Chimur too, Rane was greeted by a nearly 6,000-strong crowd, mainly comprising Shiv Sena activists, including the present and former office bearers of the party. Significantly, these included 11 sitting corporators from Akola, who had travelled all way to Chimur to express solidarity with Rane.These corporators are understood to have met Rane separately and discussed their likely entry into the Congress.
The presence of such a large number of Shiv Sena activists could be an indication of the shape of things to come, with a programme for the entry of Shiv Sena activists into the Congress slated two days later, on August 18.
CENTRAL INDIA NEWS SERVICE