Maharashtra police arrests Union minister over slap row

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The Ratnagiri police in Maharashtra arrested Union minister Narayan Rane for comments against chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

According to Hindustan Times, three FIRs were registered in the state – one each in Nashik, Pune and Mahad – against Rane who allegedly talked about slapping Thackeray for forgetting the year of India’s independence.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader claimed that Thackeray forgot India’s year of independence during his August 15 address to the people of the state. He made the remarks on Monday, during his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ in Raigad district.

Rane arrest comes shortly after the Bombay high court refused to give urgent hearing to his plea seeking anticipatory bail. The bench of justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar directed Rane’s lawyer Aniket Nikam to follow due procedure before approaching the court.

Rane also filed the application to quash the three FIRs registered against him. The court did not hear that petition too.

The remarks have led to full-fledged battle between the BJP and Maharashtra’s ruling party Shiv Sena. The workers of the two parties clashed in Mumbai and other cities; the Sena wants Rane to be stripped of his portfolio at the Centre and remarks withdrawn.

“This was the reaction to action. Narayan Rane provoked the Shiv Sainiks. He should withdraw his remarks and if he does not, then he will be responsible for the situation,” said Shiv Sena legislator and state minister for home, Shambhuraj Desai.

Stones were hurled at the BJP’s office in Nashik.

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