Not known to mince words, the Maratha leader having pockets of influence in the coastal Konkan region, was picked by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray as chief minister when he decided to remove the genial Manohar Joshi ahead of the 1999 assembly elections.
Thackeray, however, expelled Rane from the Sena in July 2005 for “anti-party activities” after he alleged that tickets and posts were for sale in the Shiv Sena.
Rane joined the Congress in August 2005 and quit it in September 2017. “I waited for 12 years. When I found that there was no scope for me in the Congress, I decided to quit from the primary membership of the party and membership of the legislative council,” he had said in his rant against the party over “injustice” done to him and his supporters.
Rane then said he had joined the Congress because he was assured that he will be made chief minister in six months.
After quitting the Congress, Rane launched the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha in October 2017. In 2018, he declared support for BJP and was elected to the Rajya Sabha on that party’s nomination. In October 2019, he merged his party with the BJP.
Over the years, Rane’s political rivals have been linking him to several incidents of violence, claiming his involvement in the murder of Shiv Sena worker Shridhar Naik and some other crimes in his Sindhudurg region of Konkan.