Narayan Rane Moves Court Against FIRs Amid Row Over ‘Slap’ Remark on Thackeray
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "To impress BJP leadership, Rane has been attacking Shiv Sena and its leaders."
Union Minister Narayan Rane approached the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, 24 August, seeking protection from arrest, after two FIRs were filed against him over his remarks about giving 'a tight slap' to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who Rane claimed was ignorant of the year of India's independence.
However, the court refused an urgent hearing of Rane’s anticipatory bail application and asked the lawyer to follow the procedure and file a praecipe — an application for urgent hearing of a case.
"The police have arrived to arrest him, they are waiting at his doorstep," Rane's lawyer Aniket Nikam said, according to LiveLaw.
Rane had also sought quashing of the FIRs from the Bombay HC.
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.
Nashik cyber police registered an FIR on Shiv Sena Nashik chief's complaint against Rane, as police commissioner issued an order to arrest him and formed a team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Barkund to arrest him.
Following a complaint by Yuva Sena, another FIR was registered under sections 153 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code at the Chaturshringi police station in Pune.
What Did Narayan Rane Say?
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.
Clash Between Shiv Sena and BJP Workers
Rane's comments drew sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena, as Sena workers came out on the streets to protest.
Moreover, while Sena workers also protested outside Rane's Juhu residence, some workers vandalised the BJP office in Nashik. Sena and BJP workers also clashed in Chiplun, where Rane's Jan Ashirwad Yatra is scheduled on Tuesday.
Shiv Sena's Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Member of Parliament Vinayak Raut declared that Rane had lost his mental balance and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "To impress BJP leadership, Rane has been attacking Shiv Sena and its leaders. He lost his mental balance after his induction into the Modi-led ministry. Modi should show him the door," PTI reported.
Further, Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to remove Rane from Union Cabinet over his comment against the Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra chief minister.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) minister and spokesperson Nawab Malik said that Rane's statement has not only insulted the CM but the whole of Maharashtra.
‘I Am Not a Common Man’: Narayan Rane
While BJP State president argues that Narayan Rane being Union minister cannot be arrested by state, Rane alleges misuse of power by the MVA government.
Reacting to the news of the FIRs, Rane was earlier quoted as saying:
“I have no info 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.”Union Minister Narayan Rane
Nashik Police Commissioner Deepak Pandey said that they will respect Narayan Rane as a Union minister.
However, Pandey added, "He can present his side in court. The law will take its own course. A team of Nasik police has left for Chiplun to record the statement of Narayan Rane."
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)
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