“I was on a visit to Delhi to meet madam (Sonia Gandhi) and was initially supposed to return immediately after the meeting. However, she advised me to meet Rahul ji as well before my return. My wife, who was travelling with me, also told me to stay back and seek an appointment with him, which I did,” Mr Rane said while speaking to select media-persons in Mumbai.
“I cancelled my afternoon flight as I got a 4 pm appointment with him. During the meeting, we discussed about politics in Maharashtra, which then shifted to the Council elections. I told him to send an aggressive person in the Council as the party desperately needed it,” he added.
Mr Rane said he told Gandhi that he was ready to get inducted into the Council if given a chance.
“As soon as he heard this, he told me that he would be happy if I become a Council member. Hence, the credit of my induction goes to the sudden decision taken by Rahul,” he said.
Mr Rane was among ten candidates, who were elected unopposed in the Maharashtra Council polls held in June.
The former Maharashtra chief minister also said senior state party leaders, who wanted to get their own candidates selected, too were not aware of Gandhi’s decision.
“These people refused to tell the media about my induction and only spoke about P Chidambaram’s induction into the Rajya Sabha despite the AICC issuing a notification,” he said.
Taking a dig at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mr Rane said he has changed after assuming the post.
“Recently, we met at an event, where I asked him how he was doing and told me with folded hands that he is doing well because I am not there in the House,” he said.
“Then I reminded him how he came to me for advice when he was in the opposition and said you have changed a lot and have become arrogant after becoming the CM. He once again told me with folded hands to scold him as much as I want but after the function gets over,” he added.
Mr Rane said certain people in his party are against him and have gone on the backfoot due to his aggressive style of functioning.
“I do not care who thinks what and whether somebody consults me or not. I will go on with my ‘one-man show’ if I do not get response from my party leaders and not let the government breathe easy. I have nothing to hide and therefore am not scared,” he said.