Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s query to Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte during his address to the state on Independence Day on what jubilee the country was celebrating this year is the reason behind the recent conflict between the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the BJP, leading to the arrest of Union minister and BJP MP Narayan Rane on Tuesday.
“Today, we are completing 74 years and entering into the 75th year of Amrit Mahotsav or is it Hirak Mahotsav (diamond jubilee),” Thackeray had said as he turned to Kunte for validation. Kunte had then prompted Thackeray that it was ‘Amrut Mahotsav’, following which the CM went on with his speech.
Thackeray’s seemingly innocuous query triggered Rane to attack him. On Monday evening at Mahad in Raigad, Rane said: “It is shameful that the chief minister does not know the year of Independence. He leaned back to inquire about the count of years of Independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) a tight slap.”
Rane on Tuesday took the criticism a step further. Before his arrest, he claimed that Thackeray’s statement was seditious.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, said that it is natural for people to be angry with a chief minister who does not remember dates related to India’s history.
“The CM not remembering the Amrut Mahotsav year of India’s independence can naturally make some people angry. However, there are certain ways of expressing anger and this expression should be done in those ways only,” he added.