Mumbai: Is it the end of Narayan Rane's BJP dreams?

Hinting at the end of the Rane story, senior BJP leader and state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said that since there were no immediate elections in the state, there will be no big entries into the party any time soon.

A week after Narayan Rane reportedly met BJP national president Amit Shah in Ahemedabad, it seems that things have only become difficult for the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The state BJP is clearly divided over Rane's entry.

Hinting at the end of the Rane story, senior BJP leader and state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said that since there were no immediate elections in the state, there will be no big entries into the party any time soon. Patil's statement comes on the backdrop of the talks of Narayan Rane inching towards the BJP.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Chandrakant Patil said, "There are no big elections in the state pending now. So there is no question of inducting anyone big in the party at this point of time." But, what has raised eyebrows is the statement of Patil questioning Rane's image.

"We want to keep our room clean," added Patil hinting that the party wasn't keen on taking someone like Rane into the party fold, who is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Even the BJP is divided over Rane's entry.

While Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and state president Raosaheb Danwe are keen on inducting Rane into the party fold, sources say Devendra Fadnavis himself is against the idea. Those favouring Rane believe that he will help the party to grow its base in Mumbai and Konkan, those opposing say that Rane is no more the strongman and has lost all the sheen in his stronghold.

Rane lost the assembly elections in 2014. He contested the Kherwadi bypolls in Mumbai and lost again. He finally made it to the upper house in the state legislature. Rane's son Nilesh too has lost the Lok Sabha polls.

Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil is considered close to BJP national president Amit Shah. His latest statement on Narayan Rane is considered as hint by many. This could well mean that the road for Rane's entry into BJP may not be easy.

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