Narayan Rane had earlier claimed that Uddhav Thackeray forgot the year of India’s independence, and that he would have ‘slapped’ the CM for it.

Naryan Rane giving a thumbs up during an interaction with the pressFile image
news Controversy Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 16:58

Union Minister Narayan Rane was arrested by police in Maharashtra on Tuesday, August 24 for his comment on “slapping” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is the first Union minister to be arrested in two decades. The arrest came as the Bombay High Court rejected an urgent hearing plea seeking quashing of three first information reports (FIR) against Rane regarding the incident.

The Union Minister had said that he would slap CM Thackeray, as he claimed the latter forgot the year of India’s independence and took help from his aides during his Independence Day address. During the speech, CM Thackeray wondered whether it was the country's "Amrutmahostavi (Golden Jubilee) or Hirakmahotsavi (Diamond Jubilee)", to which his aide answered "Amrutmahotsavi." Rane had said while addressing the media, “What kind of CM is this who doesn't know the Independence Day of India. If I was there, I would have slapped him.” The BJP in the state has distanced itself from the statement, and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said that the BJP won’t be supporting Rane’s comments. 

A team of police personnel went to Rane's camp in Sangameshwar in Ratnagiri, where he was en route on his 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra' in the Konkan region. Incidentally, hours before his arrest, Rane had dared that "nobody could do anything to him" or prevent him from "moving around freely". A team of senior police officers met Rane and later completed the arrest formalities even as a large number of his supporters and a huge posse of police were present.

While one FIR was registered in Pune, two others were registered in Mahad and Nasik.

Rane, a veteran politician who was earlier with the Shiv Sena, had joined the Congress before joining the BJP. The slap slur had also trigerred widespread agitation by Shiv Sena workers in the state, who earlier on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding Rane’s dismissal from the Cabinet.

(With IANS inputs)

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