Updated: August 21, 2021 11:48:16 pm
The police, in three days since Thursday, have lodged 40 FIRs in connection with Union Minister for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Narayan Rane’s Jan Aashirwad Yatra for holding public gatherings amid the pandemic and breaking Covid-19 rules.
Rane is at present on a tour of Konkan, which commenced from Mumbai as part of BJP’s Jan Aashirwad Yatra.
Most of the FIRs have been registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, 51 (refuses to comply with government rules) of the National Disaster Management Act and 135 (penalty for contravention of rule) of the Bombay Police Act. The FIRs have been registered against organisers and BJP workers and Rane has not been named.
Till now, 39 FIRs have been lodged by Mumbai Police. While three FIRs each have been registered at Agripada and Mahim police stations, two cases each have been lodged by Ghatkopar, Sion, Khar and Govandi police. One FIR each has been registered at Mulund, Vikhroli, Bhandup, Pantnagar, Santacruz, Powai, MIDC, Sakinaka, Meghwadi, Goregaon, Charkop, Boriwali, MHB colony, Vanrai, Kurar, Dahisar, Azad Maidan, Gamdevi, Kalachowky, Shivaji Park, Dadar, Chembur, Vile Parle, Kherwadi and Airport police stations.
On Saturday, Kashimira police station under Mira-Bhayandar Vasai Virar Police Commissioner-ate lodged the 40th FIR.
Rane, who commenced his yatra on Thursday, will travel 650 km and cover areas like Mumbai, Vasai-Virar and the districts of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri in Konkan.
He is one of the four Union ministers from Maharashtra who were last month inducted in the Narendra Modi Cabinet. Besides Rane, Union ministers Bharati Pawar, Bhagwat Karad and Kapil Patil have been asked to take part in the yatra, which began on August 16. With over a dozen municipal corporations, including the civic bodies of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, set to go to polls early next year, the yatra is being deemed as an early canvassing campaign launched by the BJP.
Rane has been made the lynchpin of BJP’s attempt to dethrone Shiv Sena from BMC in Mumbai, which it is controlling the civic body since the 70s, barring a small period in the 90s. A former Shiv Sainik, Rane had left Sena in 2005 to join the Congress and subsequently jumped ship to join the BJP in 2019.
A bitter rival of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Rane had thrown the gauntlet to the Sena by starting his yatra by paying floral tribute at the Bal Thackeray memorial in Shivaji Park in Mumbai. He had said that BJP would win the BMC elections due early next year.
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