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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 24 (ANI): Several BJP leaders, including the party's national president JP Nadda, on Tuesday condemned Union Minister Narayan Rane's detainment by Maharashtra Police over his remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, terming the action as political vendetta.
Taking to Twitter BJP National President JP Nadda said Rane's arrest was a violation of constitutional values. "The arrest of Union Minister Narayan Rane by the Maharashtra Government is a violation of constitutional values. We will neither be scared nor suppressed by such action," he tweeted in Hindi.
Adding to it, Union Minister Smriti Irani during a press conference said it was "a sad day in constitutional history."
"What happened in Maharashtra is against all norms, not only of decency of protocol but also the law. This is the depths to which depravity will now be politically exhibited in Maharashtra. It's a sad day in our constitutional history," Smrit Irani said.
Terming it as Shiv Sena's personal grudge against the BJP, Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said, "Today Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) took a condemnable step... Shiv Sena and its CM hold grudges (against BJP), that's why this illegal step... This is a serious matter."
Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said that the arrest warrant against Narayan Rane shows that the MVA government is scared and that it was a political rivalry. "I don't support Narayan Rane's statement. But if he's arrested or arrest warrant is issued against him for remarks against CM, what's happening to their leaders who comment against Governor, a constitutional functionary, almost daily," Patil added.
Joining the bandwagon, Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis said that the action was "absolute vendetta", and alleged that while Sharjeel Usmani, a former Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student arrested in connection with certain "objectionable tweets" allegedly posted by him, was free, Rane had been arrested.
"Action against Union Minister Narayan Rao Rane is absolute vendetta! We strongly condemn this gross misuse of police force & suppression. Sharjeel Usmani is free and Narayan Rane arrested! This is their Hindutva and This is what Maharashtra looks like !!" Fadnavis tweeted.
Rane was detained in Ratnagiri district after FIRs were filed against him.
The Union Minister had on Monday accused Thackeray of ignorance about the year of India's independence at an event and said "I would have given a tight slap".
Shiv Sena leaders strongly condemned Rane's remarks with party leader Vinayak Raut also seeking his removal from the union cabinet.
FIRs were registered against Rane at several places including Nashik and Pune, based on the complaints filed by Shiv Sena leaders.
Pune City Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said a case has been registered under sections 153 and 505 of IPC at Chaturshringi police station and an investigation is being held. (ANI)