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If Rane was arrested over remark against CM, why not Patole, Maharashtra BJP asks

File photo of Maharashtra Congress Chief Nana Patole

File photo of Maharashtra Congress Chief Nana Patole

The BJP on January 18 asked why the Maharashtra government was not dealing with Congress leader Nana Patole over his remarks referring to ‘Modi’ the same way it had dealt with Union minister Narayan Rane in the past.

BJP workers staged protests against Mr. Patole, the State Congress chief, across Maharashtra and demanded his arrest.

The Congress leader, who had had a brief stint with the BJP as an MP earlier, has kicked up controversy with his purported remark that he could ‘beat up, badmouth Modi’. He has, however, denied that he was speaking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking to reporters here, State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “If Narayan Rane can be arrested for his alleged comment, so can be Nana Patole. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government (of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) is treating almost similar comments differently." BJP leader Mr. Rane had been arrested in August 2021 for his alleged comment that he would have slapped Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for ‘not knowing’ the year of India's independence. Mr. Rane was released on bail hours later .

On January 17, a video of Mr. Patole where he purportedly said “I can hit Modi, can abuse him; so he did not come to campaign against me," went viral, prompting BJP leaders to lash out at him.

Mr. Patole later claimed that he was talking about a local village goon while campaigning in Bhandara district and not about the prime minister.

“I think State police are under political pressure, so they are not taking any action against Mr. Patole. Not a single complaint was accepted by police. We will meet the governor about this issue," Chandrakant Patil told reporters in Mumbai.

If needed, the BJP will also approach the court seeking action against Mr. Patole, he added.

BJP MLA and former minister Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar said Mr. Patole should provide a photograph and details of the ‘goon’ he claimed he was referring to.

BJP workers staged protests against Mr. Patole in many places in the State including Aurangabad, Nashik, Pune and Nanded.

In Jalna, district BJP youth wing chief Sujit Jogas announced a ‘reward’ of ₹1 lakh to anyone who "cuts off Mr. Patole's tongue." Speaking in Nagpur, Mr. Patole said the BJP was protesting against his remarks only to divert attention from real issues.

He also said the "goon" he was referring to had been detained by Bhandara police.

The Congress knows how to maintain the dignity of the prime minister's post, he added.

Reacting to angry comments by BJP workers and leaders against Mr. Patole, State Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said it reflected the "Talibani mentality" of BJP leaders.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 12:14:17 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/if-rane-was-arrested-over-remark-against-cm-why-not-patole-maharashtra-bjp-asks/article38290298.ece