No one can do anything to me, says defiant Narayan Rane

Union Minister says ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ will resume on Aug. 27


A day after his arrest and subsequent bail for his comment on slapping Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Union Minister Narayan Rane on Wednesday said that the Jan Ashirwad Yatra will resume on August 27.

“No one can do anything to me. I have remained unaffected by attempts to checkmate me politically. I have played a major role in the Shiv Sena’s growth. Those who want to protest, let them do that,” Mr. Rane said in a press conference at his Juhu residence.

He has remained unapologetic about his controversial remarks on the CM, claiming that he had done it “for national pride”. When reminded that former CM and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis had disapproved of such remarks against the CM, Mr. Rane said, “If he says so, then I will follow, as he is my margadarshak (guide).”

He pointed to several statements by Mr. Thackeray against Union Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and asked why no action had been taken then.

“Wait for a few days. Do you need such a government which has failed on every front? I am not an astrologer but the days of the State government are numbered,” he claimed.

Earlier, his son and BJP MLA Nitesh Rane had tweeted that President’s Rule was the “only option in Maharashtra”.

Mr. Rane said he and the BJP would pursue the legal battle relating to 28-year-old celebrity manager Disha Salian’s death and also the ongoing case against the Transport Minister Anil Parab who is involved in a controversy over corruption charges made by the arrested Mumbai police cop Sachin Waze.

Mr. Rane also slammed Mr. Parab for allegedly giving the instructions to the police for his arrest on Tuesday. “We will fight a democratic and legal battle, and we will not remain silent until the perpetrators go inside [jail],” he added.

Mr. Rane said the Mahad Court order and the Bombay High Court’s order delivered on Wednesday were in his favour. “The country still has the rule of law. I have also noticed that some take advantage of my friendship and kindness. I launched the Jan Ashirwad Yatra after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked me to reach out to people to explain the work done by the Centre,” he added.

He avoided repeating the derogatory statement against Mr. Thackeray but claimed that he would continue to speak about the country and its pride.

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