Congress MLA Nitesh Rane has stoked a controversy by saying that he wants to begin Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Clean India' campaign from Mumbai by cleaning the city of all the Gujaratis who hate Marathis. "Wanna take part in Swacha Bharat abhiyan n start from mumbai!! Wanna start cleaning up all the Marathi hating gujjus from there once for all," Rane posted on Twitter on Wednesday.
Nitesh, the son of senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, had earlier also courted controversy by alleging that the Gujarati community was trying to take control over Mumbai. "We are not against Gujaratis who want to remain in harmony, but are against those who want to take control of the city," Nitesh had then tweeted.
Congress MLA Nitesh Rane
Defending his anti-Gujarati tweet posted, Rane on Thursday said attention should also be drawn towards the hate statements made (by Gujaratis) almost everyday. "So much ho ha abt my statement on the Marathi hating gujjus but no 1 is focussing on the hate statements passed by them almost everyday," he tweeted.
Social media is abuzz with people sharply criticising and condemning the remarks.
Congress distances itself from remarks
The Maharashtra unit of the Congress on Thursday distanced itself from the controversial anti-Gujarati remarks by party legislator Nitesh Rane.
"Whatever statements he may have made are his personal view. We have nothing to do with it," state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre told media persons.
Thakre's attention was drawn to Rane's tweets on Wednesday which smacked of a strong anti-Gujarati tone, but he initially denied knowledge of them.
After persistent queries by the media, Thakre assured he would speak with Rane on the issue. "Congress disapproves such comments. I will speak to Nitesh, but this is not the party view," Thakre told reporters.