'Bengal is tiger of India': Sanjay Raut responds to Narayan Rane
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday described West Bengal as the “tiger of the country” as he responded to Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narayan Rane's remarks that the BJP won’t allow “Maharashtra to become like West Bengal.” Rane, a former Sena leader himself, made these remarks at a press conference on Wednesday, a day after he was arrested, and later given bail, for saying he would “slap” Maharashtra chief minister and Sena Supremo Uddhav Thackeray.
“What does the ‘won’t let Maharashtra become West Bengal’ statement by Narayan Rane mean? The BJP lost in West Bengal. If you keep on using same language, your presence in Maharashtra, too, will become insignificant. West Bengal is the tiger of the country,” Raut told reports.
Rane had, on Monday, taken a jibe at Thackeray for allegedly forgetting how many years it has been since India’s independence, during the chief minister’s address on August 15 on the occasion of 75th Independence Day. "I would've slapped him if I was there," he had said.
The minister's remarks set in motion a chain of events which led to his arrest and late-night bail on Tuesday. The day also witnessed violent protests by Sena workers across Maharashtra; party cadre protested outside Rane’s residence in Mumbai’s Juhu, resulting in a clash with their counterparts from the BJP.
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On Wednesday, addressing the media on the events of August 24, Rane said, “The BJP will not allow West Bengal-like violence in Maharashtra. Sena has no power to beat up any BJP worker or leader. They only pelt stones from a distance.” The remarks were in reference to the alleged post-poll violence which took place in West Bengal earlier this year, after the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) won third straight assembly polls in the eastern state.
The BJP, which finished second-best to the TMC but way behind the latter’s seat tally, has alleged its workers and supporters were targeted by supporters of the ruling dispensation, a charge which the Bengal government has denied.
Last Thursday, the Calcutta high court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct separate probes into the allegations. The investigation will be monitored by the high court itself.