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Narayan Rane arrest: Clashes, war of words between saffron rivals

| Updated: August 24, 2021 17:56

A political slugfest of sorts has broken out between the ruling Shiv Sena and its former partner Bharatiya Janata Party with the arrest of union minister Narayan Rane after three FIRs for his alleged remarks of slapping Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray during his Monday’s rally in Raigad.

The FIRs have been lodged against Rane in Nashik, Pune and Mahad for reportedly saying that he could slap Thackeray for forgetting the year of India’s Independence during his August 15 address to Maharashtra.

Even as clashes broke out between the workers of the two parties in various cities in the State and stones were hurled at the BJP’s office in Nashik, an aggressive Shiv Sena wants that Rane should be stripped of his ministerial portfolio and also for him to apologise for his remarks. The BJP has shot back asserting that it firmly stands by Rane for the way he is being targeted though it may not concur with his statements.

Using strong words, akin to the militant language that both the saffron parties (BJP and Shiv Sena) are known for, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home and Shiv Sena MLA Shambhuraj Desai asserted, “This was the reaction to action. Narayan Rane provoked the Shiv Sainiks. He will be responsible for the repercussions if he does not withdraw his remarks.”

Former chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said the party does not support Rane’s comments, but the way he has been targeted, the “it stands behind him 100 per cent”. Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil added, “People who are pointing fingers at Rane should not forget that there have been several instances of Uddhav Thackeray using inflammatory language.”

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), one of the three constituents of Maharashtra Vikhas Aghadi (MVA) government along with Congress and Shiv Sena, said Rane’s language was insulting.

“The language used for CM Uddhav Thackeray by Union minister Narayan Rane is insulting not only for the chief minister but also for the people of Maharashtra. It will not be tolerated. No one is above the law and will have to face action irrespective of his position,” NCP leader Nawab Malik said.

Rane had a tough time after his comments. He was arrested by the Ratnagiri police after all his attempts to get anticipatory bail failed. The Maharashtra leader was picked up soon after the Bombay High Court refused to concede to an urgent hearing to his plea for anticipatory bail. The bench of justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar directed Rane’s lawyer Aniket Nikam to follow due procedure before approaching the court. Not only this, the court didn’t even hear his application to quash the three FIRs slapped on him.

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