Sena-BJP clashes break out in Maharashtra over Narayan Rane's 'slap CM' remark
Activists of the ruling Shiv Sena and its youth outfit Yuva Sena and supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) indulged in clashes at several places in Maharashtra on Monday as the former launched multiple protests over a comment of Union minister Narayan Rane saying he would have “tightly slapped” chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for allegedly being ignorant of the country’s year of independence.
Meanwhile, a police team has been sent to arrest Rane, against whom at least three FIRs have been lodged so far over the issue. The Union minister, has, however, defended his statement.
While some Sena workers pelted stones at a party office of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Nashik, a few others gathered outside Rane’s Juhu residence in Mumbai and shouted slogans against him.
The situation soon turned tense as BJP activists also gathered in support of the Union minister. Later, police had to act against and prevent a few Sena supporters from running towards Rane’s house, even as BJP workers tried to force themselves in. Reports of vandalism have also started pouring in.
In Chiplun, Sena activists tore posters of Rane and said they would not allow him to hold any programme. Rane has been addressing multiple Jan Ashirvad Yatra events being organised by central BJP leadership for new inductees of the Narendra Modi cabinet.
Rane had sparked a row while speaking at one such event in Raigad district on Monday. The former Shiv Sena chief minister, who was made a Union minister recently, hit out at Thackeray claiming the latter forgot the year of independence during his August 15 address to the people of the state and had he been present at the spot, he would have slapped him.
A Yuva Sena leader said the protests were happening on their own and the “angry” activists were not asked to come to the agitation sites.
“We did not call anyone but Yuva Sena activists are angry over insulting remarks made by Narayan Sena and came on their own. We will show our strength to him,” said Yuva Sena functionary Varun Sardesai.
Speaking to reporters later, Sardesai said Yuva Sena activists were ready to face the baton for the Sena supremo. “Uddhav Thackeray is our god and if anyone dares to insult him, we will not care about the law and order,” said Sardesai.
“We have come at his (Narayan Rane’s) house and if he has guts let him face us,” he added.
In Thane, youth wing activists staged an agitation against Rane near Mantel Hospital following which workers of the two camps indulged in stone pelting.
Activists also vandalised a two-wheeler of Rane’s supporter. The bike had the picture of the Union minister's son Nitesh Rane.
(With inputs from Mumbai bureau)
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