Nitesh, a leader of the Swabhimaan Sanghatana, stirred up trouble with a tweet mocking people from Gujarat living in the state, particularly in Mumbai.
Apart from his tweet and ones on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, his remarks sparked off a major controversy. BJP leaders in the upper house in the state legislature demanded action against him on grounds that such utterances "may lead to social disharmony".
Nitesh took a dig at the community’s obsession with vegetarianism, stating "veg skies, veg hospitals, veg housing societies… soon veg Mumbai! Either Gujjus should go back to Gujarat or they turn Mumbai into Gujarat - Red alert."
He was apparently referring to housing societies with mostly Gujarati residents who favoured only vegetarian tenants. Rane’s Twitter page has been deluged with angry posts from the Gujarati community.
The comment sparked off a furore after it was published in Friday’s tabloids and the opposition members in the upper house asked the government to punish Rane for his tweet. It is berating the community and Modi, they said.
Patil said that every citizen in the country has the right to stay anywhere and nobody can question it.