Union Minister Narayan Rane was arrested on Tuesday, 24 August, by the Ratnagiri Police and taken into custody from Sangameshwar over his remarks about giving ‘a tight slap’ to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who, Rane had claimed, was ignorant of the year of India’s Independence.
Earlier, Rane had approached the Bombay High Court, seeking protection from arrest, after two FIRs were filed against him over his remarks.
Rane also sought quashing of the FIRs. Two FIRs were registered against Rane. While one of the complaints was registered in Pune on Tuesday, the other one was filed in Nashik.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out between workers of Shiv Sena, BJP and the police in Mumbai as Shiv Sena workers marched towards Rane’s residence, news agency ANI reported.
During his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in adjoining Raigad district, Rane had said, “It is shameful that the chief minister does not know the year of our 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,” news agency PTI reported.
The BJP leader and former Shiv Sena Chief Minister Rane claimed that Thackeray, after forgetting the year of India’s independence during his 15 August address, had to check the same with his aides in the middle of the speech.
While BJP state president had argued that Narayan Rane being Union minister cannot be arrested by the state, Rane had alleged misuse of power by the MVA government.
Reacting to the news of the FIRs, Rane was earlier quoted as saying:
“I have no information that an FIR has been registered against me. I am not a common man. I have not committed any crime. Is it not a crime if someone doesn’t know about 15th August? I had said that I would have slapped — these were the words and it’s not a crime.”
Reacting to the arrest, BJP president JP Nadda tweeted in Hindi, “The arrest of Union Minister Narayan Rane ji by the Maharashtra government is a violation of constitutional values. We will neither be scared nor suppressed by such action. These people are troubled by the immense support the BJP is getting in the Jan-Aashirvad Yatra. We will continue to fight democratically, the journey will continue. (sic)”
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut demanded that Narayan Rane should “must some respect for the Constitution” and step down as Union minister after being arrested, PTI reported.
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