Ahead of Assembly polls in the state, former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane on Tuesday stated that he would soon be joining the BJP and also merge his Maharashtra Swabhiman Party with them.
"I am going to join the BJP soon and my party will also merge with them. I told Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that my wish to enter the BJP is from Mumbai, not Kankavali," Rane told media persons in Kankavali in Sindhudurg.
On Tuesday, Rane extended a grand welcome to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who reached his hometown Kankawli for his Maha Janadesh Yatra.
"The Chief Minister of Maharashtra does not belong to one party but he is the Chief Minister of all and it was my duty to welcome him and that is why I welcomed him in Kankavali," Rane said, amid speculation of a rift occurring between BJP and Shiv Sena regarding his entry into BJP.
Rane's entry into BJP assumes key importance as he had challenged Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray when he left his party in 2005. This is the reason why BJP's alliance Shiv Sena is reported to be against Rane's political rehabilitation.
Maharashtra Swabhiman Party chief has not given any clarity on the date of his joining the BJP.
"If there is any issue between the BJP and Shiv Sena with my arrival, then I do not mind it. The place I go to has an upper hand," he said.
( With inputs from ANI )