Rane meets Sonia, Congress unhappy over public criticism

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New Delhi, Dec 22 (UNI) Amid intensified war of attrition between the rival groups in the Maharashtra state Congress, Revenue Minister Narayan Rane today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and reportedly complained against the style of functioning of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his government.

Ms Gandhi reportedly expressed herself against Mr Rane's public criticism against the state government while continuing as a member of the state cabinet.

Mr Rane, who joined the Congress two years ago, also met Mr Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to Ms Gandhi.

During his meeting, Mr Rane had reportedly denied reports that he was planning to leave the party.

He met AICC General Secretary in charge of Maharashtra Margaret Alva yesterday.

AICC sources said Ms Alva already had a round of discussion with Ms Gandhi on the situation in the Maharashtra unit of the party. She would soon submit a report to the Party President.

There are indications that the Congress has not taken lightly the public remarks of Mr Rane against the Deshmukh government.

"It is prime facie an act of indiscipline," AICC General Secretary in charge of Media Veerappa Moily said here today.

"No one in the party or in the government can make such public remarks against a Chief Minister. All grievances should be brought to the party's attention in the party fora," he said.

Mr Rane told mediapersons here yesterday that the Congress government was not functioning for the "good of the people" and that "it is time for rebellion." "I am not happy with the working of the government," he said.

Mr Deshmukh met Ms Gandhi on Thursday and reportedly acquainted her with the political situation prevailing in the state.


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