It seems the breed of foot-in-mouth-politicians has found a new member in Congress leader Nitesh Rane, whose attack on the Gujarati community in Mumbai has caused quite a flutter on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Rane junior took to Twitter to vent his frustration against housing societies dominated by Gujarati speaking residents that insist on renting out or selling homes only to vegetarians.
In a series of tweets from his handle @NiteshNRane, he targeted "white-collar" Gujaratis in Mumbai, who supported Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and asked them to leave the city, so that "Marathi manus can flourish" and "buy houses where there is no discrimination".
Nitesh Rane's office confirmed that the above said handle belongs to the leader.
Veg skies,Veg hospitals,Veg housing societies..soon Veg Mumbai!Either Gujjus go back to Gujarat or they turn Mumbai into Gujarat..Red alert!— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) July 22, 2013
Surprisingly white collar Guju community was nevr a target who cleverly kept mumbai's financial chords with them!Now Modi's Guj awaits them!— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) July 1, 2013
Apparently Modi saved 15k gujjs in 2 days..can he also divert his plane towards mumbai n pick sum gujjus from here too!— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) June 25, 2013
All Hoo Haa of gujjus on twitter!Itni teekhi laagi Meri baat..chalo Modi ko bulao aur jaga khaali karo humare Marathis ke liye mumbai mein— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) June 24, 2013
Though Nitesh defended his comments in an interview with a leading Mumbai-based publication, his tweets have drawn sharp reactions from Gujaratis. Here are some of the tweets that are doing the rounds on the micro-blogging site:
Mr. Nitesh rane u r d one discriminating Gujarati n marathi... N Narendra Modi is the best... U need not b a Gujarati or Marathi to be dbest— Dimple Shah Danda (@DimpleShahDanda) August 2, 2013
Ppl who oppose Gujaratis or others who praize Narendra Modi and ask us to leave Mumbai should have guts to push us out # Nitesh Rane— Amit Mehta (@am8mehta) August 2, 2013
Need to know from Nitesh Rane where should Marathi's South/north India's should go if we praise Modi? Do we have to leave Mumbai too?..— ?? ??????? ???? ?? (@21centurie_kant) August 2, 2013
Nitesh Rane seems to have a confused ideology. 'Gujaratis' praising Namo can leave. Sounds like SS. And the anti Namo stand sounds Congi.— Akanksha Patankar (@Mrs_Patankar) August 2, 2013
This Nitesh Rane is the New Raj Thackray asking gujjus to leave the city..— Zeal Soni (@Rapatraapchick) August 2, 2013
Nitesh Rane proves yet again that dividing the people of this country is Step no. 1 for every politician.— Sagar Nair (@yedda_anna) August 2, 2013
Nitesh Rane has joined in to become the next Digvijay Singh of comments and speeches.— omkar sane (@omkars) August 2, 2013
Surprising nobody has objected/ criticized/ denounced in public the "Gujaratis Maharashtra Chhodo" call of Nitesh Rane yet...— Ruchir Modi (@Ruchir78) August 2, 2013
Funny how Nitesh Rane has the balls to make such comments.Maybe he has forgotten that the position he has is a free gift from his dad.— Nidhi Vora (@NidhiVora93) August 2, 2013
This is not the first time that Nitesh's tweets have stirred up a controversy. On July 31, the Congress leader had commented on author Shobhaa De's demand for Mumbai as a separate state.
Rather than twitter, Shoba De shud say the same thing on the streets of Mumbai openly after which she won't be left with any 'shoba' forever— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) July 31, 2013
The tweet had drawn sharp reactions from all quarters for being sexist. However, Nitesh remained defiant and refused to apologise for his comments. In response to calls for apology to De, he tweeted
English channels should ask Shobha De to apologise rather than askin me before it gets too late !!— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) August 1, 2013
Till now, Nitesh has remained in the shadow of his father and Congress minister Narayan Rane. We wonder whether these tweets were a sort of prelude to his entering the bigger game.