First-term Congress Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Nitesh Rane has stimulated a hullabaloo with remarks that he wants to begin Modi’s ‘Clean India’ campaign from Mumbai by “cleaning” the city of Gujaratis. He draws strong criticism from Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for playing “abusive” politics. There are two factors which have given frustration to Rane Jr., first is Gujaratis were ‘vote bank’ of Congress Party who voted for BJP this time because of Narendra Modi and second is the undercurrent of tension caused by Gujarati population in Mumbai. Societies and areas with Gujarati majority slowly have started losing their multicultural character. They disallow any non-vegetarian food in their neighbourhood by running campaigns against it. They pass laws in their co-operative societies which disallow sale of flats to non-vegetarians. This has led to situations where well off Maharashtrians and others have been unable to buy flats in many societies in prime locations because of these rules. Most wedding and party halls in the suburbs are owned by members of Gujarati and Marwari communities who allow only vegetarian food in their premises. Moreover, recent elections have proven Gujarati’s support to Modi. Shiv Sena was their old alliance partner and that alliance was broke and people blame Amit Shah for this. Too much Modi mania has somewhere damaged the Marathi sentiments in Maharashtra. Anyways, Rane Jr. should realise that all these are old tactics and used by age-old politicians to gain political mileage, in this technocrat world these tactics lead to thinking of hypocrisy.
However, it will be not wrong if one says that so far, Rane’s contribution to Maharashtra’s development is zero. His father became Maharashtra CM from the Shiv Sena’s side but in spite of rebellious attitude against Congress’ CM, party has time and again showed him his place. This time even he could not win elections. There is only one option for Nitesh to become ‘Marathi Voice’, just go and join your father’s original party, the Shiv Sena. Thackeray may have started with South Indians, however, even after that, it was the Gujjus, South Indians and then North Indians. Beating Gujjus again would complete the circle. Uddhav is not yet sure whether he should join hands with the vegetarian Brahmin Fadnavis. He has already dumped the other Brahmin Manohar Joshi. It is a time that Nitesh and Uddhav join hands against all vegetarians Gujjus, Konkanasth Brahmins and Deshasth Brahmins. All should be thrown out of Mumbai. Nitesh Rane has still not forgotten his Shiv Sena style in the Congress Party it seems. Someone should remind him that he is an MLA from Congress Party. He is making highly immature comments for an MLA. However, these issues need to be discussed. Rane’s remarks attracted criticism from the BJP whose national spokesman Sambit Patra said “Iit is because of such kind of mentality that people of Maharashtra and Haryana have voted against Congress.”
It did not surprise me to read Nitesh’s tweets. Previously, he launched an attack on Gujarati community in Mumbai – criticising them for praising Narendra Modi and mocking their choice of being vegetarians. Son of Chembur’s small time goon Narya, who is now a political leader, is just like his father of those old days. Modi is a good subject to remain in controversy. However, Rane Jr. flopped in his own gimmicks. In a series of controversial tweets, Nitesh has asked “white-collar” Gujaratis in Mumbai who support Modi to leave the city, so “Marathi Manoos can flourish” and buy houses where there is no discrimination. Nitesh is a management professional who studied in the United States of America with older brother Nilesh. Nitesh returned to India to assist his father Narayan Rane when Rane was planning to quit the Shiv Sena in 2005. He runs an NGO to create ruckus but that institution has not done any humanitarian or constructive work to uplift Mumbai or Mumbaikars. The brothers initially shadowed their father but have now carved out their own political spaces. The father divided work between the two. Nitesh stays in Mumbai and Nilesh takes care of the family’s stronghold, Konkan. Nitesh did have his share of personal and political controversies. A member of his organisation, Viral Dholakia, died when the police lathicharged protestors, led by Nitesh, at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation headquarters five years back. Viral, who gave his life during this protest, was a Gujarati. Later on, the state Congress did not approve of Swabhimaan’s growing negative influence. State Congress president Manikrao Thakre asked the Ranes to give up running a parallel frontal organisation when the party already had the Youth Congress. Warnings did not work and Nitesh quit his post from the city youth Congress unit after disagreements with local leaders. His NGO, with a statewide membership of more than one lakh, continues to grow. Nitesh Rane, who has just brushed his teeth in politics, needs to go a long way. He belongs to the most selfish leader’s clan, his father left his own mentor Balasaheb over his greedy ambitions in politics. After joining Congress, he continually attacked Sonia Gandhi and proved to be rebellious till he was thrown out of the party. When Congress clutched his wings and showed him his limits, with no way to go, the minister learned to live in his own limits and then tamed down. If Nitesh fails to look at his father’s fate for being over aggressive, he would be one day disciplined by same “Modi Lover” Gujarati community.