Mumbai, Jan 7 : Maharashtra minister Jayant Patil and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis engaged in a Twitter spat over a 'Free Kashmir' poster during protest at the Gateway of India here against the JNU violence.
A poster with the message "Free Kashmir" was carried by one of the protesters at the Gateway of India on Monday.
Tagged a picture of the poster on his Twitter account, Fadnavis asked what exactly was the protest for and if Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will tolerate this "anti-India campaign" right under his nose.
"Protest is for what exactly? Why slogans of "Free Kashmir"? How can we tolerate such separatist elements in Mumbai? 'Free Kashmir' slogans by Azadi gang at 2km from CMO? Uddhavji are you going to tolerate this free Kashmir anti-India campaign right under your nose???" Fadnavis asked.
The BJP leader also tagged the Twitter handle of his successor Thackeray after the tweet.
Respond to Fadnavis, Patil accused him of trying to confuse people by "decoding words" in a hateful manner.
"Devendraji, it's 'free kashmir' from all discriminations, bans on cellular networks and central control. I can't believe that responsible leader like you trying to confuse people by decoding words in such a hatred way. Is it losing power or losing self control?" he asked.
Fadnavis hit back saying for them nation comes first and that he did not expect "vote bank politics" from Patil.
"What a pity! Now separatist tendencies get a Government advocate," he said.
"Jayantrao, this vote bank politics is not expected from you. Kashmir has already been freed from discrimination and certain curbs have been there since decades for security concerns. Be it in Govt or opposition, for us, the only principle is NATION FIRST!" Fadnavis tweeted.
Later, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters here that those holding the "Free Kashmir" poster wanted freedom from restrictions on internet, mobile services and communication.
"I have read that those holding the poster wanted Kashmir to be freed from restrictions. If slogans are about freeing Kashmir from India, that will not be tolerated," the Rajya Sabha member said.
Hundreds of people, including students, women and senior citizens - who assembled at the Gateway of India at Sunday midnight - demanded action against the culprits and called for Union Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation.
Violence broke out at JNU on Sunday night as masked men armed with sticks and rods attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police that conducted a flag march.
At least 34 people, including JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.