Union minister Narayan Rane failed to appear before the superintendent of police in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on Monday as per a court order, PTI reported.

Rane’s lawyer Sandesh Chikne appeared before crime branch inspector Dayanand Gavde’s office on behalf of the Union minister. He informed the police that Rane could not be present as was unwell.

Local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had accompanied Chikne to the crime branch’s office.

Earlier in the day, a large number of police personnel were deployed outside the superintendent of police’s office in anticipation of Rane’s arrival. The situation is normal now, Gavde told PTI.

Rane was arrested on August 25 for a comment about slapping Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. He was granted bail hours later.

A magistrate, while granting the Union minister bail, had directed him to appear before the office of the superintendent of police in Alibaug town in Raigad district on August 30 and September 13.

Rane has been named in four first information reports. The charges against him include sections under the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 188 (disobedience to public servant’s orders), 269 and 270 (act to spread disease) and 34 (criminal act by several persons with common intention).

Rane had allegedly made the remark about Thackeray at an event in Raigad on August 23. He claimed that the chief minister had forgotten the year of independence during his August 15 speech.

The Union minister’s comment triggered a huge controversy in Maharashtra.

In Nashik, Shiv Sena workers threw stones at the BJP’s office on August 24. Some others, on their way to Rane’s home in Mumbai, clashed with BJP workers and the police.