Narayan Rane & Chhagan Bhujbal: Best for the last?

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena is keeping the best for the last. After the steady trickle into the BJP, which has been poaching leaders left and right, targeting both the NCP and the Congress, comes the buzz that OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal will be shortly walking into the Sena.

By an uncanny coincidence, another heavyweight – Narayan Rane – is waiting in the wings to join the BJP.

Somehow, the fates of the two leaders have got intertwined and the Shiv Sena is reportedly waiting for Rane to take the plunge before its opens the doors of Mato-shree for Bhujbal. Rane has been on the hold for some time with the BJP acting coy due to Sena’s opposition to his entry.

At least, in theory, Rane’s entry is expected to dent Sena prospects in Konkan just as Bhujabal’s entry is expected to undermine the BJP’s prospects in Nashik district. So, Sena hopes to square up with its saffron ally by welcoming Bhujbal, the moment Rane joins the BJP, a senior leader said.

Bhujbal, who left Shiv Sena in 1991, can join the party anytime and the decks for his entry have been cleared by Uddhav Thackeray. Supriya Sule, NCP leader and daughter of NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, was in Nashik recently for a mass outreach programme - Taainshi Samvad. But Bhujbal skipped this programme, which in turn ignited the buzz about his joining the Shiv Sena.

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