BJP MPs from Maharashtra will submit a memorandum to Speaker of Lok Sabha over the “violation” of rights of Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane, who was arrested on Tuesday for his remarks against state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil said.
Speaking to reporters in Pune, Mr Patil alleged that Mr Rane was arrested by the police without a warrant.
He also alleged that Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab had asked police to use “force” while arresting Rane.
“As an MP, Narayan Rane’s special rights were violated (due to the police action). BJP MPs from Maharashtra will approach the Lok Sabha speaker and submit a memorandum,” Mr Patil said.
He said Shiv Sena leader and minister Anil Parab had asking to use force (while arresting Mr Rane) which is recorded in a video clip.
Mr Rane was arrested on Tuesday afternoon over his “would have slapped chief minister Uddhav Thackeray” remark and was taken to Mahad in the Raigad district where he is likely to be produced before a court, Maharashtra police sources said.
Cases were registered against the BJP leader at Mahad in coastal Raigad district as well as at Nashik and Pune as his controversial remark accusing Mr Thackeray of not knowing the year of India’s independence set off angry protests by workers of the ruling Shiv Sena.
He was taken into custody at Galavali in the Ratnagiri district during his “Jan Ashirwad Yatra”, and first taken to Sangameshwar police station.
The First Information Report at Mahad has been registered under IPC sections 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace), and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).
Mr Patil said BJP will make all possible efforts to ensure the release of Mr Rane, whom the Bombay High Court refused to grant any relief earlier in the day.
Mr Rane is likely to be produced before court at Mahad either on Tuesday or Wednesday, police sources had said.
“We hope the court will pass an appropriate order,” Mr Patil said.
He said BJP cadres in Maharashtra have been asked to agitate against Mr Rane’s arrest.
Responding to a query, Mr Patil said BJP’s image is not at all damaged by the remarks made by Mr Rane but on the contrary the party has got a leader who believes in giving a “tit for tat” reply.
Mr Patil said the BJP and the entire country is standing with Mr Rane.
He said Mr Rane’s behaviour was not “uncultured” and he has not committed any act that can affect the “cultural” face of the BJP.
“(Mr) Rane has not done anything wrong. Due to his statements, the BJP’s image is not getting spoiled. The entire country is standing with (Mr) Rane,” the state BJP chief said.
Mr Patil said the BJP is all-inclusive.
“The BJP absorbs everybody who joins the party. After becoming a member of the BJP, all live happily in the party,” the former state minister said.
Mr Patil said though BJP is not in power for the last 20 months, no leader left the party.
“You will be surprised how big stalwarts (who have joined the BJP) have adjusted themselves with the BJP’s culture,” he said.
When asked if Mr Rane’s working style would change in future and how will BJP deal with it, Mr Patil said Mr Rane cannot bear injustice.
“Though it is true that due to (Mr) Rane, the BJP has got an aggressive face but there is no dearth of aggressive leaders in our party. We can say that due to (Mr) Rane, we got a leadership which believes in giving “tit for tat answer”,” he said.
Mr Patil said Mr Rane is an “asset” for the BJP and that is why he was inducted into the Union cabinet.
“The Maharashtra government is scared as Mr Rane’s “Jan Ashirvad Yatra” was getting a huge response, which triggered today’s action (against Mr Rane),” he claimed.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena workers burst crackers outside the BJP’s office in Pune. A separate protest was also staged by workers of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is part of the MVA government, against Mr Rane’s remarks.
The Pune city unit of BJP also staged a demonstration.
Earlier in the day, Sena activists released hens in the office of BJP in Pune city.
Sena workers have put up several posters in Mumbai and other places, calling him a “kombdi chor” (chicken stealer), a reference to the poultry shop he ran in suburban Chembur in Mumbai five decades ago, during his initial stint with the Bal Thackeray-led party.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)