Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday slammed the Maharashtra government for using the police to suppress the Opposition in the state.
Fadnavis' statement came in the wake of FIRs registered against Union Minister Narayan Rane for his alleged derogatory remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"We do not support Narayan Rane's statements. But looking at the way the government is using police force to act in a lawless manner, we will support Rane as an individual and the whole party is with him," he stated.
Fadnavis further said, "Two FIRs have been registered against Rane and a whole team is going to arrest him. Where was this police when Bharat Mata was abused," he said.
He added, "Sharijil Usmani abused Bharat Mata but no FIR was registered against him but you (state govt) filed FIR against Narayan Rane."
The BJP leader also warned Shiv Sena leaders against pelting stones at the party office. "We do not act like hooligans. But if our party office is attacked in the presence of police, we are capable of protecting ourselves," he said.
"This is 'police jivi' government. It is state-sponsored violence just like in Bengal," he added.
Fadnavis further said that BJP will continue with the Jan Ashirwad Yatra even if Rane is arrested.
Meanwhile, the police have registered a case against Narayan Rane under sections 500, 505 (2), 153B (1)c of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).