May 14, 2022 12:15:52 pm
Independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana on Saturday took their battle against the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government in Maharashtra all the way to the national capital of New Delhi where the couple performed a maha aarti at the Hanuman temple in Connaught Place.
The maha aarti in Delhi comes on a day when Thackeray is holding a public rally at BKC in Mumbai where he is expected to speak on Hindutva, according to Shiv Sena sources.
Speaking to media persons later, Ravi Rana said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is anti-Hindutva. They have the audacity to put elected members in prison for chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. They arrested us under sedition charges.” The couple threatened to expose the Shiv Sena on Hindutva and said they wanted to “rid Maharashtra of the Thackeray government”.
Earlier, this month the Ranas had threatened to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree, the private residence of Thackeray in Bandra East, following which Sena activists protested on the streets. Later, the Ranas withdrew their decision and, instead, chanted the Hanuman Chalisa at their own residence at Khar in Mumbai, but they were arrested and lodged in prison for 14 days before being released on bail.
BJP leaders in Maharashtra supported the couple, with Kirit Somaiya saying, “How could the state government slap sedition charges? What was their crime? They just expressed the desire to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree… (and later) they backtracked… How is this a serious crime,” he asked.
In Mumbai, BJP corporator Atul Shah slammed the MVA government for police action against temples and said the police disallowed the ringing of bells in temples. “Under which law are they imposing such restrictions? Why is this government putting restrictions on temples? We are not using loudspeakers,” he said.
“Every temple has a traditional bell. Ringing bells is part of Hindu rituals. How can that be equated to noisy loudspeakers atop mosques… We have never questioned the decision on loudspeakers. We have readily agreed there should be no loudspeakers at any place of worship or public place, including mosques,” Shah said.
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