Union minister Narayan Rane has sparked off a row over his remarks about slapping Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for what he claimed as the latter’s ignorance of the year of India’s independence.
“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,” Mr Rane said during his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in adjoining Raigad district on Monday.
The BJP leader and former Shiv Sena chief minister claimed Mr Thackeray forgot the year of independence during his August 15 address to the people of the state. Mr Thackeray had to check the year of independence with his aides midway during the speech that day, Mr Rane said.
Mr Rane’s remarks drew sharp reactions from Shiv Sena, whose workers put several posters in Mumbai and other places, calling him a ‘kombdi chor” (chicken stealer), a reference to the poultry shop he ran in Chembur five decades ago, during his initial stint with the Bal Thackeray-led party.
Shiv Sena’s Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg MP Vinayak Raut said Mr Rane has lost his mental balance.
“To impress BJP leadership, Rane has been attacking Shiv Sena and its leaders. He lost his mental balance after his induction into the Modi-led ministry. Modi should show him the door,” Mr Raut said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)