The Shiv Sena has launched an offensive against Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, demanding his expulsion from the Vilasrao Deshmukh cabinet after the High Court passed strictures against him in a land deal.
"Rane should be removed from the cabinet as the Bombay High Court has criticised his decision to hand over a 10-acre plot of land near Sahar airport to a private party even as two cases pertaining to its ownership are pending in Court," Leader of Opposition and senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam said.
With what authority was the land transferred (back to private party)? Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice AP Deshpande had asked while hearing a PIL challenging Rane's December 2007 decision to hand over the land to Esteem Properties, a south-Mumbai based private enterprise.
Kadam said he would raise the issue in the monsoon session of state legislature beginning on July 16.
Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' also joined in the demand for Rane's removal from the Deshmukh cabinet, saying in the past, whenever strictures were passed against a minister that person had to quit, be it then Chief Ministers AR Antulay or Shivajirao Nilangekar.
"If Rane is a saint, then Sonia Gandhi should speak to the Pope and make him saint of Rome," the Saamana said.
Kadam said the judges had termed as irresponsible Rane's decision while two cases pertaining to the land were pending in the High Court. The Court said Rane should have been more careful and this is not expected of the government, he said.