Days after Union Minister Narayan Rane’s arrest and his being granted bail over the ‘slap’ remark against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the war of words between Shiv Sena and BJP continues unabated. The latest trigger is the imposition of prohibitory orders in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg district ahead of Rane’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra resuming from August 27. In Ratnagiri, the orders will be in place until August 31 and in Sindhudurg, which is Rane’s home district, until September 7.
Rane, who had suspended his yatra on August 24, will resume it on August 27 and travel to Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg district. This is aimed to checkmate the Shiv Sena in its stronghold.
Shiv Sena minister and Sindhudurg District Guardian Minister Uday Samant said it is the district administration that has imposed the prohibitory orders. “Prohibitory orders have been imposed in view of the upcoming Ganpati festival. It would not be proper for me to interfere with the decision taken by the administration,” he said.
However, the BJP alleged that the move was to put a roadblock on Rane’s yatra, which was receiving overwhelming response from the people.
However, Samant challenged the BJP saying if it could prove its allegation, he would retire from politics. “It is sheer coincidence. The prohibitory orders have been issued not to disrupt the Union minister’s yatra. I will retire from politics if BJP proves that the prohibitory orders are at my say-so,’’ he noted.
“Every party has a right to expand and consolidate. However, while doing so, every party should respect the leaders of other parties. This is the culture of Maharashtra,” observed Samant.
The BJP, however, sees a plot in the imposition of the prohibitory orders. A senior BJP leader said, “The Shiv Sena is unable to digest the response Rane is drawing during his yatra which commenced from August 19. It is no more a secret that Rane’s arrests have exposed the Shiv Sena’s move to target Rane and BJP in general. However, Rane and BJP are firm on resumption of yatra,” he noted.
Meanwhile, in a bid to avoid clashes and shows of strength between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg district police have deployed additional bandobast.