Shiv Sena's strategy for BJP: Support but oppose too

Rane had been the revenue minister in the erstwhile Shiv Seva-BJP government between 1995-99 and also the chief minister briefly. DH file

Rane had been the revenue minister in the erstwhile Shiv Seva-BJP government between 1995-99 and also the chief minister briefly. DH file

As per reports, Rane, in the press conference said many ask him will Sena stick to BJP but he has always maintained that Sena will not part ways but will be kicked out. Last week, Rane had also met BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi. Since he has made it clear that Congress and Shiv Sena are his main political rivals, the BJP may accommodate him in the grand alliance led by it in Maharashtra, though the party is non-committal on immediately giving him a cabinet berth. "Where would that leave us and anyway there is just another two years for the governments term to be over", said a Sena leader.

The 65-year-old Konkan leader, at the fag end of his career, faces the challenge of getting his son - Congress legislator Nitesh Rane - elected on his party symbol, getting himself elected as Member of Legislative Council, enlisting the support of sitting Sena and Congress legislators, and winning the upcoming panchayat polls in his hometown. "An atmosphere was created that those who favour demonetisation are patriots and those who oppose it are traitors", Thackeray said referring to Modi government's decision to withdraw high-value currency notes from circulation previous year.

Uddhav Thackeray further said that Shivsena allied with the BJP for Hindutva when the word "Hindutva" was a taboo.

Asked if he aspires to become the Chief Minister, he said, "I still have an ambition to become the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. It never dies. I will wait for the right time".

Batting in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bullet train project, Rane slammed Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, questioning their understanding of development projects. "If we pull out support, either our party or the Congress or the NCP would split and that faction would support the BJP government".

Mr. Chavan said, "It will be hard for the BJP to take on the Sena, as they are allies. Even Pakistan has cheaper petrol than us".

Rane had resigned from the Congress on September 21. "Let's see what their future is".

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