Narayan Rane against Uddhav Thackeray: Union Minister drops a bomb

Narayan Rane has been training with Uddhav Thackeray for 17 years. (To file)

New Delhi:

Even for someone who is not known to be on very good terms with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (who presided over his arrest as recently as August), Union Minister Narayan Rane casually dropped a bomb on Friday, claiming that in March – two years before the next election – the BJP will take over state government.

“The BJP will form the government in March and you will see a change,” he said in response to a question from reporters in Jaipur, according to a video tweeted by the ANI news agency.

Asked about this startling claim, Mr Rane said: “To form a government, to break a government, some things have to be kept secret.”

The head of the BJP, who was arrested for saying he would like to slap Uddhav Thackeray for his “ignorance of the year India won independence” and later released on bail, is the minister of Union for micro, small and medium enterprises.

The arrest was the first time in 20 years that a Union minister had been taken into custody and was the latest in a feud between the which began 17 years ago with his rebellion against the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray and his departure from the Shiv Sena.

The BJP has a history of power struggles with the current government of Maharashtra. Although he fought the 2019 election in partnership with the Sena, the two paths parted ways over disagreements over who will become chief minister after the alliance wins a majority.

The Sena, with 56 MPs, turned to ideological rivals of the NCP and Congress for support, but just when it looked like the alliance was finally on the right track, the BJP pulled off a coup. ‘State – by cursing Devendra Fadnavis in a surprise ceremony at 8 a.m. at the governor’s residence.

However, the BJP’s grip on the hot seat was short-lived as the Supreme Court ordered an immediate ground test with several conditions. Headed for a flop, Mr. Fadnavis resigned and Mr. Thackeray became Chief Minister.

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