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Narayan Rane to quit as Maharashtra minister Monday
Thursday July 17, 2014 6:54 PM, IANS

For the second time in two months, Maharashtra Industry Minister Narayan Rane said he plans to quit the government this week.

"I shall resign as cabinet minister Monday. However, I shall continue to remain in the Congress as an ordinary worker," Rane told media persons here Thursday.

Declining to spell out the reasons behind his sudden move, the senior Congress leader said he would embark on a tour of the Konkan region next week and meet all his supporters before chalking out his future plans.

There is intense speculation in political circles that he may join the Bharatiya Janata Party, but Rane and top BJP-Shiv Sena leaders have ruled out the possibility - at least for now.

State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the party leadership will speak to Rane and attempt to resolve his grievances.

On May 16, Rane quit as minister after his son Nilesh Rane, the sitting MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg constituency, lost to Shiv Sena's Vinayak Raut in the Lok Sabha polls 2014, following a revolt by a section of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers there.

The party, reeling under a resounding defeat in the parliamentary elections, rejected the resignation and asked him to continue in his post.

Chief minister at the fag end of the Shiv Sena-BJP regime in 1999, Rane had quit the Shiv Sena in 2005.

After joining the Congress, Rane has never played down his abilities or ambitions to become the state chief minister again and made several attempts in the past to bag the coveted post.

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