Will continue Jan Ashirvad Yatra, played key role in Sena's rise: Narayan Rane

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Will continue Jan Ashirvad Yatra, played key role in Sena's rise: Narayan Rane

Union minister Narayan Rane said on Wednesday the Jan Ashirwad Yatra that he had been organising with his colleagues from the Centre will resume on Friday in Sindhudurg. Rane was arrested on Tuesday for making controversial statements against the Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray only to be granted bail late in the night.“My party has stood by me firmly during this entire episode of my arrest. I have played a key role in the Shiv Sena's rise. The people who got me arrested were nowhere on the scene at the time,” said Rane, a former chief minister of the Sena-BJP alliance government. He also said he was not arrested, but he had accompanied police to the court in his own car at their request.

Earlier in the day, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court it would not take any coercive action against the RajyaSabha MP in the FIR lodged in Nashik over his controversial remarks. Multiple FIRs have been registered against the BJP leader across the state.

A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar was hearing a petition filed by Rane, seeking to quash the FIR registered in Nashik and all other cases that may be lodged in future. Rane has sought interim protection from arrest. On Tuesday, the court said that while the arrest was “justified”, his custodial interrogation was not necessary.

The newly inducted Union minister sparked a furore in the state after he allegedly said on Monday that he would have “tightly slapped” Thackeray for being ignorant of the year of India’s independence. The statement led to several clashes across Maharashtra, followed by heated exchange of words between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).