MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made his now-controversial comment about Yogi Adityanath because the latter garlanded a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj while wearing footwear.

Union minister Narayan Rane, who was arrested for a comment against Thackeray on Tuesday and later got bail, had alleged that Thackeray had said in the past that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister should be hit with a chappal (footwear).

“The remarks were made a couple of years ago because Yogi Adityanath garlanded the warrior king (at a function) while wearing footwear. It is not in line with Maharashtra’s culture,” Raut told reporters here when asked about Rane’s allegation.

“If the BJP feels it is okay to insult the legendary ruler. Is it okay?” he asked.

“Was the BJP sleeping all these years? Don’t they know how to respect people?” the Rajya Sabha member added.

On Rane’s statement that the BJP-led Union government will not allow Maharashtra to “become West Bengal,” Raut asked who was Rane to say so.

“A Union minister is not the Centre. If there is any communication to be had, we will have it with the PM,” he said.

BJP leader Rane was arrested on Tuesday from Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district following his remark that he would have slapped Thackeray for what he claimed as the latter’s ignorance of the year of India’s independence.

His comments had set off protests by Shiv Sena workers.

Subsequently, BJP leaders sought registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against chief minister Thackeray over his past remark about Adityanath.