Maharashtra: Narayan Rane arrested over 'slap Uddhav Thackeray' remark
Union Minister Narayan Rane was arrested on Tuesday over derogatory comments against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Rane had said that he "would have slapped Thackeray," which led to clashes between supporters of Thackeray's Shiv Sena and the BJP across Maharashtra. Earlier Tuesday, Sena and BJP activists pelted stones at each other near Rane's Mumbai residence, prompting the police to resort to baton charge.
3 FIRs were registered against Rane; Nashik Police arrested him
At least three FIRs were registered against Rane following his remarks against Thackeray. The three FIRs were registered in Raigad, Pune, and Nashik districts. Rane was initially detained by the Ratnagiri Police and was handed over to the Nashik Police that formally placed him under arrest. This marks the first arrest of a Union Minister in 20 years.
What had Rane said against Thackeray?
While giving a speech in the Raigad district on Monday, Rane had said, "It is shameful that the CM does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to inquire about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (Thackeray) a tight slap." On Tuesday, Rane said he had not committed any crime.
Rane's anticipatory bail rejected by Ratnagiri court
Rane's anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Ratnagiri court on Tuesday. He had also moved the Bombay High Court against the FIRs and sought an interim order granting him protection from arrest or any coercive action. However, the HC had refused to hear it.
Clashes reported from across Maharashtra
Rane's jab on Thackeray was not received well by Shiv Sena activists who staged protests in different parts of the state on Tuesday. Reportedly, the Sena protesters also hurled stones at the BJP's office in Nashik and Nagpur. In Ratnagiri's Chiplun, Sena workers tore posters of Rane and threatened that they would not allow him to hold any events.
BJP distances itself from Rane's remark
Meanwhile, the BJP has distanced itself from Rane's remark. Former Maharashtra BJP CM Devendra Fadnavis said, "Narayan Rane should have shown restraint while speaking about the CM." "While showing his anger on the topic that the CM forgot the Independence year, he could have expressed it in a better way. But this doesn't mean that there should be retaliation in a tit-for-tat way."
Attack on BJP offices won't be tolerated: Fadnavis to Police
Addressing the attacks on the BJP's offices, Fadnavis said, "I would like to tell the police...they should behave as per the law...Attacks on BJP offices won't be tolerated. We don't believe in violence but we won't get bogged down by such attacks and keep silent."
Obviously, the BJP leaders are not happy about the arrest
महाराष्ट्र सरकार द्वारा केंद्रीय मंत्री नारायण राणे जी की गिरफ़्तारी संवैधानिक मूल्यों का हनन है। इस तरह की कार्यवाही से ना तो हम डरेंगे, ना दबेंगे।— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) August 24, 2021
भाजपा को जन-आशीर्वाद यात्रा में मिल रहे अपार समर्थन से ये लोग परेशान है।
हम लोकतांत्रिक ढंग से लड़ते रहेंगे, यात्रा जारी रहेंगी।
Shiv Sena MP asks PM Modi to sack Rane
Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to remove Rane from the Union Cabinet. Rane had joined Modi's Cabinet as the Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises this July. Raut had described Rane's remarks as an insult to India's PM. NCP President Jayant Patil said the remarks reflect "what kind of colleagues Modi has chosen."
Who is Narayan Rane?
Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane was inducted as a Union Minister of MSME this July. He had started his political career in the Shiv Sena in the 1960s. He entered the Maharashtra Assembly in 1990 as a Sena MLA. In 1999, he was sworn in as Maharashtra's 13th Chief Minister. In 2005, he had left the Shiv Sena due to differences with the Thackerays.