MUMBAI: A meeting called to discuss problems faced by fishermen saw sparks flying with Congress MLA Nitesh Rane losing his cool and allegedly throwing fish at a senior government officer.
In a video clip aired by local news channels, Rane is purportedly seen talking to the fisheries commissioner of Sindhudurg in his office packed with people yesterday.
It showed that during the meeting, the legislator suddenly lost his cool, picked up a fish which was dumped on the commissioner's table and threw it at him.
The MLA from Kankavli in coastal Sindhudurg district said he did so to protest the officer's alleged "ignorant attitude" towards the woes of the traditional fishing community of the Konkan region.
"There are two kinds of fishermen in Sindhudurg. One who use traditional methods for fishing and the other who use modern technology," Rane told PTI over the phone.
He said according to the state government's rules, fishing areas are clearly demarcated for both communities.
Yet, those using modern technology often cross over to the areas earmarked for fishermen using traditional methods, resulting in financial losses to them, he alleged.
"We approached the fisheries commissioner of Sindhudurg and brought to his notice the government resolution (GR) of February 4, 2016 that lays down clear rules for both communities of fishermen," Rane said.
"Due to ignorant attitude of officers like the fisheries commissioner, nothing is being done to enforce these rules due to which traditional fishermen are incurring huge losses," he said.
To add to the woes of traditional fishermen, their counterparts from neighbouring states also enter into the waters of Maharashtra, claimed Rane, the son of senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane.
"No steps have been taken to solve these issues. Traditional fishermen are facing injustice for long now. Thus, we had to take an aggressive stand today," he said.
The MLA recently took a jibe at the Shiv Sena by seeking a place in the Guinness World Records for the Uddhav Thackeray-led party for vowing to quit the BJP-led Maharashtra government many times (and not doing so).
Rane, whose father was once with Shiv Sena before joining Congress, last month wrote a letter to the Guinness authorities, making this tongue in cheek demand.
However, reacting to Rane's letter, Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande had then said that her party already holds a Guinness record for collecting largest quantity of blood in a day (24,200 bottles) at a blood donation camp in 2010.
"Nitesh is a child in politics who is basking under the glory of his father without any substance of his own. He should be made aware that the Sena already holds a Guinness record and we are proud of it," Kayande had said.