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Rane will continue to lead; gave tough fight: Maha Congress

Narayan Rane presser

Mumbai: Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan today hailed Narayan Rane for taking up the challenge to contest by-election to Bandra (East) seat and said the party will not get bogged down by the defeat.

Putting up a brave face, Chavan asserted that despite Rane’s loss, he will continue to lead the party.

“Rane gave a good fight and compared to October Assembly polls last year, Congress saw a marked improvement in the party’s vote share in the constituency,” he said.

He held party like All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in the fray as key factor that benefitted Shiv Sena and BJP.

“Such parties are vote splitters and they misguide the minorities and help Sena-BJP. The Bandra (East) by-election result once again proved this,” he added.

Chavan said Congress will not be affected by the defeat, instead it would aggressively take on the BJP-Sena government in the state and at the Centre.

The former chief minister congratulated NCP candidate and widow of late R R Patil Suman Patil for winning the bypoll to Tasgaon-Kavathe Mahankal constituency.

Congress had supported the NCP in the constituency.

NCP president Sunil Tatkare said Suman Patil’s victory in Tasgaon was expected.

“We thank the people of Tasgaon for paying tribute to late R R Patil by electing his wife with a thumping margin,” he said.

Referring to Rane’s defeat, Tatkare said MIM’s vote share had come down drastically whereas Congress climbed from fourth position in October last year to runner-up.

“Shiv Sena’s votes were bound to increase because BJP was not in fray. Some BJP votes must have gone to the Sena,” he added.

Putting up a brave front, Rane said that he would take all blame for his defeat and that his party tried to help him in every way possible.

Narayan Rane“I do not blame anybody for this defeat. If the responsibility has to be taken, I will take all responsibility. Winning and losing is a part of election. I have not seen defeat for the first time. I have been around for 45 years thus, do not need to learn from people what I should do next in my political career, “People opted to vote for sympathy and not development. I accept this. I don’t mind if people want to stay the way they are and do not need development,” “It is surprising that people who take money from their candidates are talking about loyalty,” he alleged. “I am thankful to all those who voted for me. I also thank (NCP Chief) Sharad Pawar, Abu Azmi and others who helped me during the poll.

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