Cabinet minister Narayan Rane Arrested Over “Slap Thackeray” Comment

Story Highlights
  • Rane is the first union minister to be arrested in the past 20 years
  • His comment on Shiv Sena chief for forgetting the year of independence led him to the trouble
  • The minister is arrested on non-bailable charges

The political fiasco related to the arrest of union cabinet minister Narayan Rane has deepened gravely. The rift between “once allies-now rivals” Shiv Sena and BJP has become a flashpoint since his arrest. Rane has been slapped with non-bailable charges and he was arrested while having his meal. His comment on the Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray led to furious Sena leaders staging protests and filing 3 FIRs against him. 

The comment that sparked the arrest was, “It is shameful that the Chief Minister does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to ask about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given him a tight slap”. He said this on the occasion of independence day when the Sena leader forgot the year of independence during a ceremony. 

His arrest has sparked discussions among the higher political authorities as he is one of the ministers of the cabinet. He joined Modi’s cabinet in July this year as MSME minister after being a BJP leader for years. During the arrest, Narayan Rane provoked the media by saying, “I haven’t committed any crime. You should verify and show it on TV or else I will file a case against you (media). Despite not committing any crime, the media is showing speculative news about my ‘imminent’ arrest. Do you think I am a normal (ordinary) man?”

While the Sena leaders demand his removal from the cabinet, BJP leaders are comparing the arrest to Taliban rule. Devendra Fadnavis, Ex Maharashtra CM and a BJP leader said, “I want to make it clear that we do not support the comment about the Chief Minister but we will stand by Rane with all our strength. I want to tell the police commissioner that if there is no action against those who attacked our offices then both opposition leaders will sit on dharna at the police commissioner’s office. There should be a rule of law, not Taliban rule”. Rane’s bail has been rejected by the high court.

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