A political tussle in Vengurla in Sindhudurg district of Konkan over the upcoming local polls has now turned into a war of words between industries minister Narayan Rane and home minister RR Patil.
The verbal spat triggered after Rane alleged that local police and the home department, led by Patil, were hand in glove with the Opposition and had conspired against the Congress and his son Nitesh Rane in the incident on Monday. "The Vengurla incident was a conspiracy by the Sena and the police refused to take any action,'' said Rane.
Patil retorted saying Rane's allegations were ridiculous. "There will be an inquiry into the incident by an IG level officer. We will also recommend that there should be a separate observer during the civic polls in this area by the election commission because of the violence,'' said Patil, who was on a campaign tour in Konkan and Kolhapur on Tuesday.
Patil also hinted that Congress seemed to have become more violent after Rane joined the party. He added, "We have managed to rid Sangli (his home town) of goons and Rane should follow suit in Sindhudurg (Rane's home town)."
Police reports said the Vengurla incident was sparked off after some people in jeeps attacked the house of a former Congress councilor. In response, a group of his supporters along with Sena members gheroed a Congress office in the area, where Rane's son Nitesh was holed up for nearly three hours.
With the situation getting out of control, the superintendent of police of the region asked Rane to stay out of Vengurla. "This was an attack orchestrated by the Sena against me after seeing the kind of response I am getting from locals. The police did not take any action against the mob and instead asked me to leave the area," said Nitesh.
Sources in the police said four police complaints had been filed in the incident, including one against Sena legislator Parshuram Uparkar's security guard who fired a gun.
"This is clearly political tussle in lieu of upcoming polls in Sindhudurg and is proving to be a headache for us, especially since Rane is also the guardian minister of the district," said a senior police official.