“BJP Behind Hanuman Chalisa Row, Used Rana Couple,” Says Shiv Sena

Mumbai: On Monday, Shiv Sena in its publication Saamana has claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party wants to oust the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Hence, it is planning the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ row.

The Saamana editorial argued, “The recent ruckus stirred up by the BJP in the name of Hindutva cannot be supported…the BJP is behind this (controversy). They had planned to disturb the peace of Mumbai using (MP-MLA) Rana couple and everything happened on their instructions that outraged the Shiv Sena workers and the couple was not allowed to step outside their house.”

Slamming Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana for changing their political ties. Sena in its editorial said that “there is no assurance over the ideological affiliations of this couple”. MP Navneet Rana had opposed lawmakers who were taking oath in the name of Lord Ram in Parliament, it said. It further added “It’s astonishing that today the BJP is dancing around at the behest of the said MP over the issues like ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ and other Hindutava issues”.

The editorial further argued that for contesting elections from reserved seats the couple faked their caste certificates.

“Mrs Rana contested the Lok Sabha election from Amravati on the basis of a fake caste certificate. Navneet Kaur Rana and her father Harbhajan Singh Kundless submitted fake documents for getting a caste certificate. Amravati Lok Sabha is a reserved seat and to contest election from that seat Rana got fake caste certificate,” said ‘Saamana’.

Based on an FIR under section 353 of the Indian Penal Code, couple was arrested. Section 353 of IPC deals with assault or use of criminal force against a public servant in the execution of his duty.

They have been also booked under IPC section 153 (A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), and section 135 of the Mumbai Police Act (violation of prohibitory orders of police).

MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana are sent for judicial remand till May 6 by a Mumbai Court.

The couple had earlier on Saturday alleged that they were not allowed to leave their home because of a huge deployment of cops and a massive protest by the Shiv Sena workers. They had warned they would chant the hymn in praise of the Hindu God outside the CM’s home, challenging his stance on Hindutva.

Later, the lawmaker duo backed off, citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mumbai on Sunday. “Our aim was fulfilled, though Ravi Rana and I couldn’t reach ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray’s Mumbai residence), ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ that was supposed to be chanted by us was chanted by bhakts,” Navneet Rana said shortly before her arrest.

“Shiv Sena has become a party of goons. Uddhav Thackeray only knows how to file offenses against people and put them behind bars. He’s creating a Bengal-like situation in Maharashtra,” she added.

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