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Amid Talks of Him Joining NDA, Former Congress Leader Narayan Rane Meets Amit Shah in Delhi

Both leaders talked to each other for over an hour and Rane left the house around midnight, along with current Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, with a smile on his face.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:March 1, 2018, 12:43 PM IST
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Amid Talks of Him Joining NDA, Former Congress Leader Narayan Rane Meets Amit Shah in Delhi
Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh (MSP) president Narayan Rane. (Getty Images)
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Mumbai: Former chief minister of Maharashtra Narayan Rane, who had left Congress a few months ago in the hope of greener pastures, met BJP president Amit Shah at the latter’s New Delhi residence on Wednesday.

Both leaders talked to each other for over an hour and Rane left the house around midnight, along with current Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, with a smile on his face.

Reporters present at the location said Rane’s body language indicated that talks had been fruitful.

Earlier in the day, Rane travelled from Mumbai to Delhi along with his son Nitesh Rane. The late-night meeting was preceded by Shah meeting Fadnavis, who had come from Mumbai for the BJP chief ministers’ meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Fadnavis has been an active stakeholder in all meetings that have taken place between Narayan Rane and Amit Shah.

Rane has been busy in setting up his new party — Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha. At a time when the Congress and NCP have come together and Shiv Sena announcing that it would go solo in the upcoming polls, the BJP is well aware of its needs to get alliances and mass leaders on its side.

To nip any further possible troubles in Maharashtra, where the BJP has come to power after nearly 15 years, the party has already started planning its poll strategy. Ensuring that Rane doesn't become a trouble-maker is said to be one of the points on the list.

Also important is Rane's stand on the controversial Nannar petrochemical refinery in coastal Maharashtra. The high-ticket investment deal, which is being marketed by the BJP as a great employment generation opportunity in Konkan, has met with stiff opposition from its own ally Shiv Sena. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, too, has said he will support the public sentiment in the area. Part of Konkan or coastal Maharashtra is a stronghold of Rane.

"Rane is known to be a trouble-maker wherever he has gone. When he was in Congress, he had the same image. The biggest task before BJP will be to ensure that he doesn't harm them," a senior Congress leader told News18.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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