Raj Thackeray hits back at RR Patil over rape remark

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday attacked senior NCP leader RR Patil for his controversial comment on the criminal background of an MNS candidate who is in the poll fray against Patil in the latter's home turf.

Nashik: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday attacked senior NCP leader RR Patil for his controversial comment on the criminal background of an MNS candidate who is in the poll fray against Patil in the latter's home turf.

"Earlier, he (MNS candidate Sudhakar Khade) was booked in a rape case in 2007, but was later acquitted by court. NCP leaders have a tendency to make such vulgar comments," Raj told an election rally in Cidco area of Nashik tonight.

Khade is taking on Patil in the latter's pocket-borough Tasgaon-Kavthemahankal in Sangli district of western Maharashtra.

With the campaigning for October 15 elections entering the last leg, Patil has stoked a major controversy when he said that an MNS nominee for the Assembly poll jailed for the offence of rape could have waited for elections to get over before committing the crime.

"MNS has fielded a candidate. Today MNS activists met me and said they would back me (in the elections). When I asked them why, they said their candidate is in jail," the former state home minister said.

"I asked as to what good act he has done? They told me that a rape case has been registered against him. If he wanted to contest and become an MLA, he should have committed rape after the elections," Patil had told his supporters at Sangli yesterday.