Five days after launching a new political outfit, Maharashtra Swabhiman Party (MSP), former Chief Minister Narayan Rane on Friday announced he would join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
A couple of days ago, Rane met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP President Raosaheb Patil-Danve who invited him to join the NDA.
"I had sought two days time to think over and discuss the issue with my party leaders before deciding," Rane told mediapersons on Friday evening.
"We have decided to join the NDA for the all-round development of the state, address the major issues concerning Maharashtra, and further the development of the Konkan region," Rane said.
Ending months of speculation, Rane - who had earlier left the Congress and quit as a legislator - decided to chart a new political path through his MSP outfit in state politics on October 1.
There is intense speculation that Rane might be inducted as a senior Minister in the state cabinet, though both BJP and MSP sources declined to comment.
The Shiv Sena, bitterly opposed to Rane, has yet to comment on the latest development with MSP now joining the ruling NDA ranks.
Rane, 65, was the Chief Minister for nearly one year (1999) in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance which ruled the state between 1995-1999, later he served as Opposition Leader before quitting the party to join the Congress in 2005 which he left last month.