- Two persons have been arrested, police are looking for the legislator
- Nitesh Rane and his supporters had gone to "inspect" road repairs
- His father, Narayan Rane has said, "This behaviour is wrong"
Congress lawmaker Nitesh Rane was caught on camera attacking a government official with mud and slime on a highway near Mumbai on Thursday in an egregious display of political arrogance. Pummeled on social media, Nitesh Rane later drove to a police station and turned himself in.
He was arrested along with two others.
Nitesh Rane, the son of veteran politician and former chief minister Narayan Rane, had gone with supporters to "inspect" road repairs on a stretch of the Mumbai-Goa highway when he targeted an engineer, Prakash Shedekar, over the poor condition of the road.
He lashed out at the official, alleging that people had to suffer muddy and potholed roads routinely because of his incompetence.
"People are suffering it daily... Now, you also experience it," the lawmaker and his lackeys reportedly said, tipping buckets full of slime on Mr Shedekar, manhandling him and even tying him up.
"Now do you get it," Nitesh Rane says, questioning the mud-covered official aggressively. "Who has given you the right to sink this area under slime?"
At one point, the Congress lawmaker and his men are seen trying to tie Mr Shedekar to the railing of the half-built bridge on which the incident took place, apparently to "teach him a lesson".
Videos of the incident have drawn disgust and condemnation on social media.
A far from repentant Nitish Rane spoke about arming himself with a stick the next time. "Now I will myself oversee the repair work on this highway, with a stick in my hand. Every day at 7 am I will reach here. Let me see how the system wins. We have the medicine to tackle their arrogance," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Nitesh Rane is a repeat offender. In 2017, he threw a fish at a senior government officer when he lost his temper during a meeting.
He is yet to apologise but his father Narayan Rane, a former Congress leader who is a Rajya Sabha member supported by the BJP, has offered one.
"This behaviour is wrong. The protest over the highway issue is correct but this violence by his supporters is not correct. I don't support this," said Narayan Rane.
Asked whether he would ask his son to apologise, Rane senior said: "Why won't I ask him to apologise? He is my son. If a father can aplogise for no fault of his, son will have to apologise."
This is the latest example of entitled VIP behaviour a week after BJP legislator Akash Vijayvargiya assaulted with a cricket bat an official working on removing encroachments in an area in Madhya Pradesh's Indore.
Akash Vijayvargiya, who was arrested but showed no remorse, has been served notice after Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned his conduct in sharp words, saying such people should be expelled from the party.