Narayan Rane
Narayan Rane

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane said on Thursday that he would be joining the ruling BJP on September 1. After quitting the Congress, Rane was elected to the Rajya Sabha with the BJP's support, and had floated `Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh' which is part of the NDA.

"I will join the BJP on September 1 in Solapur where the party's national president Amit Shah will address a rally," Rane told reporters. Rane's formal entry into the BJP may cause a strain in its alliance with the Shiv Sena ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections.

Rane started his political career with the Sena which made him chief minister for a brief period, but he left the party later amid much rancour, and since then there is no love lost between him and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Several leaders from the opposition Congress and NCP have joined either the BJP or the Sena in the recent weeks. According to BJP sources, NCP MLA Rana Jagjitsinh Patil and Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale would be joining the party soon.

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