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Will take up issue of attack on Kirit Somaiya with Centre, says Devendra Fadnavis; claims Maharashtra citizens want President’s rule


Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said they will complain to Union home secretary against the Mumbai police’s “failure” to protect former party MP Kirit Somaiya, who enjoys ‘Z’ category security.

Talking to reporters in Pune, Fadnavis also claimed that people of Maharashtra feel there should be President’s rule in the state, but the BJP is not going to demand it.

On Saturday night, some Shiv Sena supporters allegedly hurled footwear and water bottles at Somaiya’s SUV when he was leaving Khar police station in Mumbai.

Somaiya had gone to the police station to meet arrested independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana, whose earlier call for chanting Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshree’ had angered the Sena cadres.

The BJP leader had tweeted that he was injured in the attack by “Shiv Sena goons”.

On Sunday, Fadnavis said, We will take up with the Union home secretary the issue of Mumbai police’s failure to protect Somaiya, who enjoys ‘Z’ category security cover. Either the Mumbai police indirectly supported the act (of attack on Somaiya’s car) or they have become inefficient to take any step against the attackers.

The current performance of Mumbai police is highly embarrassing, the leader of opposition in the state Assembly claimed.

“Considering the present scenario, citizens of Maharashtra feel there should be President’s rule in the state. The BJP will not demand it as we are ready to fight back in any situation. It is the governor’s prerogative to seek the President’s rule.”

It is gross misconduct on part of police as Somaiya had informed the police that he may come under attack at Khar police station. Surprisingly, the police have not registered any FIR in this case, Fadnavis said.

Let me make it very clear that we are not afraid of such attacks. We are capable of tit for tat, the former state chief minister said.

Fadnavis also said he was surprised the way MLA Ravi Rana and his MP wife Navneet Rana were treated.

“She (Navneet Rana) was kept in a lock-up at night (after arrest)…looks like the Maharashtra government is afraid of a woman, the BJP leader said.

Asked about NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s recent comments that international leaders coming to India are “taken to Gujarat alone”, Fadnavis said, “He (Pawar) should only introspect on why such leaders are not coming to Maharashtra.”

“Who will come to Maharashtra in such a situation where two state ministers are in jail. There are issues of law and order and power load-shedding in the state,” he said.

Union minister Raosaheb Danve also hit out at the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government, claiming there was no law and order in the state.

Talking to reporters in Aurangabad, the BJP leader said, “Earlier, people used to give the example of Maharashtra police on maintenance of law and order. But, today, there is no law and order left here. Politics is being done by keeping police at the forefront. Residents of the state will take revenge for this.”

“Our leaders are being attacked in the state. Offences are being registered against those who are attacked, but no action is being taken against the attackers,” Danve claimed.

Raising the issue of Shiv Sena’s protest outside the Mumbai-based home of MP Navneet Rana and her husband, Danve said they do not support agitation at anyone’s residence.

The state government should have sent its representative to talk to Ranas, but the latter were arrested (by Mumbai police) on Saturday, he said.

“The police department is earning a bad name and they should understand this,” the BJP leader said.

Danve also said they would not demand presidential rule in Maharashtra.

The state government should take steps to improve law and order, he added.


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