Mumbai: Swabhimaan Sanghatana chief Nitesh Rane on Saturday justified his tweet questioning Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's development model by saying that it was a political statement and not a racist one.
"The statement that I made was a political statement, but since yesterday, I have been hearing that I have made a racist statement, and that I have instigated the Marathi and Gujarati communities," he told media here on Saturday.
"But if you read my statement properly, you will understand that I made a political statement, where I said that those Gujarati people living in Mumbai who believe there is more development in Gujarat or Narendra Modi is making better progress in that state than us, the direct question that I put forward is if there is so much development in Gujarat, then the people of his community should have trust in that development and they should go back to their native state. And if the people of the state don't think such, then I don't believe in the development in Gujarat under Narendra Modi," he added.
Rane further said there are many Gujarati people living in Mumbai who are very proud to be living here.
The controversial tweet of Nitesh Rane, the younger son of Industries Minister Narayan Rane, over Gujarati populace living in the metropolis on August 2 landed him in trouble with the Maharashtra legislative council asking the state government to initiate action against him as it may create "social discord".
He had earlier tweeted: "They live and earn their livelihood in this city, but praise Modi and Gujarat's development model. Such people should leave Mumbai and move to Gujarat."
Raising the issue in the Upper House, Bharatiya Janata Party leader (BJP) Ashish Shelar said: "the statement would create religious and social conflict in the metropolis. The statement is derogatory towards Modi and Gujarati-speaking people."
Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi on Saturday also said that Rane's tweets held no importance.
"He might have said something. What importance does it hold?" he said.