On Monday, during his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ in adjoining Raigad district, Rane said, “It is shameful that the chief minister does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to enquire about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) a tight slap.”
The Union MSME minister was arrested on Tuesday over his comments which triggered a political row and protests across Maharashtra. He was granted bail by a court at Mahad in Raigad late Tuesday night.
In a scathing attack on Rane over his remarks, the editorial in ‘Saamana’ likened him to a “balloon with holes”, which, it said, will never go up no matter how much the BJP tries to put fill it with air.
Despite being given the post of a Union minister, Rane has been behaving like a “roadside gangster”, it alleged.
“Rane has made the central government hang its head in shame. Given Rane’s past record, Modi-Shah should take his comments against Thackeray seriously. If anybody had spoken in this manner about the prime Minister, he would have been booked under sedition charges. Rane’s crime is similar,” the editorial said.
It said Maharashtra is a state which runs as per law and such acts will “not be tolerated after a certain point”.
The prime minister will not tolerate such acts, the Marathi daily said, adding that the BJP “will have to pay for this heavily”.
“The hand that threatens to attack a chief minister should be pulled out legally. The previous Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has made a few intellectuals languish in jail on allegations that they conspired to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the editorial said.
It said threatening to physically assault the chief minister is like hurting the sentiments of 105 martyrs of the ‘Samyukta (united) Maharashtra movement.
Rane has hurt Maharashtra, and (state BJP leaders) Devendra Fadnavis and Chandrakant Patil have been supporting him, the Sena said.
“Any cultured leader would have apologised and ended the matter, as nobody is above the state. But, for the BJP, Maharashtra’s pride and prestige of the chief minister are immaterial,” it claimed.