Union Minister Narayan Rane was on Tuesday arrested over his remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, news agency PTI reported. The arrest came after three FIRs were filed against him by Sena workers in Pune, Nashik and Raigad districts.
Rane was taken into custody by police in coastal Ratnagiri district, where he is travelling as part of the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, an official police said. Rane was taken to the Sangameshwar police station after being taken into custody, the official said. There were reports that the BJP leader complained of high blood pressure and sugar levels and a doctor was called to examine him.
Rane moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, challenging the FIRs registered against and also sought protection from the arrest. The petition was mentioned before a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar, seeking urgent hearing on Tuesday itself. The bench, however, refused to hear it and said mentioning (of the petition) was not allowed and asked the lawyer to follow the procedure.
Earlier in the day, Rane’s remarks against Thackeray led to violent clashes between workers of Shiv Sena and BJP in Mumbai on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an arrest warrant was issued against Rane after three
Rane’s comment that he would have “slapped” Thackeray for his “ignorance of the year of India’s Independence” sparked protests by outraged Shiv Sena leaders. Clashes erupted after Sena workers, including women, marching towards Rane’s residence in Mumbai, carrying placards and shouting slogans, were stopped by BJP workers.
#WATCH | Maharashtra: A clash breaks out amid Shiv Sena workers, BJP workers and Police in Mumbai as Shiv Sena workers marched towards Union Minister Narayan Rane's residence.
Union Minister Narayan Rane had given a statement against CM Uddhav Thackeray yesterday. pic.twitter.com/TezjDGGqAb
— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2021
A posse of police personnel, including women cops, were deployed outside Rane’s residence to prevent any untoward incident. The police even had to use force to stop the fight between the workers of the two parties.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to remove Rane from the Union Cabinet.
Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut writes to PM Narendra Modi, requesting him to remove minister Narayan Rane from Union Cabinet over a comment against Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray pic.twitter.com/g72NZXBZJD
— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2021
Rane, who was recently inducted into the Union cabinet, had sparked off a row over his remarks about slapping Thackeray, for what he claimed as the latter’s ignorance of the year of India’s independence.
“It is shameful that the chief minister does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to enquire about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) a tight slap,” Rane said during his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in adjoining Raigad district on Monday.
Reacting to the developments, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said while the party did not support the Union minister’s remarks against Thackeray, it stood by him.
“We don’t support Narayan Rane’s statement (against Uddhav Thackeray) but I, as an individual & the party stand with him. Sharijil Usmani abused Bharat Mata but no FIR was registered against him but you (state govt) filed FIR against Narayan Rane,” Fadnavis said.
On the clashes between BJP and Sena workers, Fadnavis said: “It is state sponsored violence. This is ‘police jivi’ govt. There is a proverb in Hindi — “saiyaan bhaye kotwal to darr kaahe ka”.”
Nashik Police Commissioner Deepak Pandey on Tuesday issued orders for the immediate arrest of Rane and a team of the city police left for Chiplun in Konkan region, where Rane is present now, after a complaint against the Union minister over the remarks. A case was also registered against Rane in Pune, while the Shiv Sena lodged a complaint against him at a police station in Aurangabad.