While Union Minister Narayan Rane was cooling his heels in police custody in Raigad, miles away in the south of Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was consulting his coterie on their future plan of actions.
As a tumultuous day in state politics came to an end with Rane being granted bail in a late evening court session at Mahad in Raigad district, some 160 km from Mumbai, the Thackeray camp regrouped at Varsha, the official residence of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Top sources in the MVA told CNN-News18 that the CM kept a close tab on the events as they unfolded throughout the day.
Rane’s arrest was not out of vengeance but to drive their message loud and clear that “such derogatory and unparliamentary language should not be used against the sitting CM," a Sena functionary told CNN-News18.
“This is not the first time Rane has targeted the Thackeray family and used derogatory language," the functionary said.
“The CM let it go in the past. But not taking action now would have meant a free licence to anyone say anything," he said.
Rane faces four FIRs across Maharashtra over his remark that he would have slapped Thackeray over the latter’s alleged ignorance of the year of India’s independence. He was arrest%MCEPASTEBIN%ed on Tuesday afternoon by the Ratnagiri police and taken to Mahad in Raigad district.
The FIR at Mahad was registered under IPC sections 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).
Sources say there was a huge consensus among MVA ministers that action needed to be taken this time around.
“The idea was to send a message across that nobody is above the law. No problem with Rane getting bail," a top Sena minister told CNN-News minutes after the Union Minister walked out of court.
The Thackeray camp has ‘no intention of pursuing any case against Rane at all’.
Sources say Nashik and Pune police will also not take custody of Rane in the other two cases.