Narayan Rane meets CM Fadnavis, likely to be inducted into Maharashtra Cabinet soon

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Former chief minister Narayan Rane is expected to be inducted into the state Cabinet soon, during its proposed reshuffle. It could happen within a week, indicated sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after he met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at Nagpur on Tuesday evening.

Rane’s induction had been delayed as the Shiv Sena is dead opposed to the plan, and the BJP was in no mood for a tussle close to the Gujarat Assembly elections. The party leadership had also put on hold the proposed Cabinet reshuffle for the same reason. Now that the results are out, the reshuffle is back on the agenda for the BJP leadership in the state.

“Narayan Rane will surely be inducted into the state Cabinet. The experience of stalwart leaders like him and former revenue minister Eknath Khadse is valuable for us. The Cabinet reshuffle will happen soon,” Fadnavis told reporters on Tuesday morning. “There is no reason for the Shiv Sena to oppose Narayan Rane being part of the Cabinet as he will be inducted from the BJP quota.”

Speaking to , Narayan Rane said: “I called on the chief minister to congratulate him for his party’s victory in Gujarat elections. We discussed the reshuffle, and he said it would take place before December 31. We did not discuss the portfolio.”

Rane’s induction has been on the cards ever since he quit the Congress and floated his own political outfit as part of an understanding between him and the BJP in October.

Sources in the state government said the reshuffle may take place early next week after a final go-ahead from the BJP leadership in Delhi.

Other than Narayan Rane, a few new faces are likely to be inducted, to replace those based on their performance over the past three years. Sources said Fadnavis had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they met in Mumbai on December 14.

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