Narayan Rane arrest: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday launched a multi-pronged attack against the Maharashtra government following the arrest of Union Minister Narayan Rane for his remark against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. While BJP president JP Nadda described Rane's arrest as violation of constitutional values and stressed that the party won't be intimidated, former CM Devendra Fadnavis went a step further to target the ruling Shiv Sena using 'Hindutva' factor.
"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," Nadda said.
"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," he added.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis too took to Twitter to slam the state government for arresting Rane, who joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet in July as Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
"Na darengey, na dabengey (will not be afraid, will not be suppressed)," Fadnavis tweeted in quoted reply to Nadda'a tweet. Moments later, Fadnavis in another tweet, called Rane's arrest as 'absolute vendetta' and compared police against the Union minister with that against former Aligarh Muslim University student Sharjeel Usmani.
"Action against Union Minister Narayanrao Rane is absolute vendetta ! We strongly condemn this gross misuse of police force & suppression.
Sharjeel Usmani is free & Narayan Rane arrested! This is their Hindutva & This is what Maharashtra looks like," he said.
Narayan Rane was arrested after sparking off a row over his remarks about slapping Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for what he claimed was the latter’s ignorance of the year of India’s independence. Rane was taken into custody by police in coastal Ratnagiri district, where he is travelling as part of the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, an official 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.
"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 in adjoining Raigad district on Monday.
(With inputs from agencies)