Mumbai: After Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said the government would examine Nitesh Rane`s controversial statement about Gujaratis living in Mumbai and take action if he was found guilty, Nitesh`s father, state Industry Minister Narayan Rane on Monday rushed to his defence.
"What Nitesh said was not against the Gujarati community or Jain community, but only against those lavishing baseless praise on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi," Narayan Rane told reporters here.
"We won`t tolerate anyone praising Modi at the cost of Maharashtra. We are not opposed to Gujaratis. I have good relations with them," Rane said.
He termed comments by his son Nitesh as "theek" (alright), adding that they had been distorted. "He only said those who want to hail Modi should go to Gujarat," the former chief minister said.
"We won`t tolerate anyone betraying Maharashtra," Rane said. "Maharashtra is ahead of other states in industrialisation," he said, supporting his statement with figures of other states.
The minister said he has advised his 31-year old son to exercise caution while posting views on micro-blogging platforms like Twitter.
"I have done my duty, as a father and as party leader. I have also put forth the party`s views. I also showed how Maharashtra is ahead of Gujarat," Rane said.
Nitesh Rane, who heads the Swabhimaan Sanghatana, had recently tweeted that Mumbai-based Gujaratis who admire Modi`s performance are free to go back to their native state, but later clarified that he had not targeted every Gujarati.
"I only said those who feel Narendra Modi is doing a good job can move there (Gujarat)," he said, adding his remarks were "not aimed against all Gujaratis, but only at those who felt there is more development in Gujarat".