Updated: August 26, 2021 7:36:49 am
Stepping up his attack on the Shiv Sena a day after he was released on bail following his arrest over remarks in which he threatened to slap Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Union Minister Narayan Rane claimed that Sena leaders, including Thackeray, had made similar remarks in the past, and that no action was taken against them.
Addressing a press conference at his Juhu home in Mumbai Wednesday, Rane alleged that a Maharashtra minister had a role in the death – he called it murder – of Disha Salian, former manager of actor Sushant Singh Rajput who died six days later in June 2020. He said he will take legal recourse to ensure that the minister is arrested.
Rane was released on bail Tuesday night by a court in Mahad after being arrested for remarks he made before reporters Monday. “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,” he had told reporters.
On Wednesday, addressing the press, Rane said: “What is it that I have said that has made them so angry? I am not going to repeat here what I said earlier. If some event has occurred in the past and I have just spoken about it, how does it qualify as being a crime… I want to ask if Shiv Sena leaders never ever spoke such words in the past.”
He then narrated three incidents in which he claimed that Thackeray had used similar language. “The CM in August said that anyone who speaks aggressively about Shiv Sena Bhavan, his face should be smashed. He directly ordered people to attack. Is that not a crime?” Rane said.
He alleged that Thackeray made a statement about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in which he spoke of beating him with slippers. He also said that during a discussion in the Assembly, Thackeray had used unparliamentary language while speaking about his discussions with BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“I had said that only those who are not proud of this country will not remember major national events of our country. I have immense pride in the country and could not bear what he (Thackeray) had said… I said what I did because of my love and admiration for the country. I said what I did so that no one else would repeat or speak this way again,” Rane said.
He alleged that a minister in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government had a role in the Disha Salian incident.
“There is no law and order in the state… Which minister was present during the Disha Salian incident? Why is that not being investigated? There are many such women. Pooja Chavan also had to face the same fate. We are not going to keep silent. We will ensure that the minister involved is arrested. We will follow up on this issue in a democratic fashion and approach the court. We will see who saves him,” he said.
Salian (28) died on June 8, 2020 after falling off the 14th floor of a residential building in Malad, Mumbai. The Mumbai Police registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR), but Rane was one of the first BJP leaders to allege that she was murdered.
Pooja Chavan, a resident of Parli Vaijnath in Beed district, died after falling from the balcony of a flat in Pune’s Hadapsar area in February this year. Several photos and audio clips surfaced, allegedly linking her to Sanjay Rathod, a state minister, who then resigned.
Reacting to a video clip of state minister Anil Parab ordering police officers to arrest him without delay, Rane said he will take legal recourse against Parab. “I will file a case in court against Anil Parab… consultations with legal experts are underway,” he said.
Arrested midway through his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Konkan, Rane said the remaining leg of his Yatra will commence Friday.
A total of 10 FIRs were registered against him across Maharashtra over his alleged remarks against Thackeray.
On Wednesday morning, he approached the Bombay High Court, seeking that the FIRs be quashed. The state government told the High Court that no coercive action will be taken against him till September 17.
Nashik police have written to Rane to appear before them on September 2 for questioning.
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