Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 25 (ANI): Amravati MP Navneet Rana on Monday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla issuing a clarification that she wanted to ignite the flame of 'Hindutva' in Shiv Sena, not to create any religious tensions by chanting the "Hanuman Chalisa" outside the residence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
In the letter, Rana wrote, "I, with the sincere hope to rekindle the flame of Hindutva in Shiv Sena had declared that I shall go to the residence of the Chief Minister and chant the Hanuman Chalisa outside his residence. This was not meant to incite any religious tensions."
On Saturday, a row started when MP Navneet Rana and her husband stated that the couple plans to chant Hanuman Chalisa outside 'Matoshree' (Maharashtra CM's Mumbai residence), after which a huge crowd gathered outside the residence of the political couple waving flags with an aim to prevent them from reaching the Chief Minister's residence.
However, the Ranas withdrew their plan to chant Hanuman Chalisa amid the protests from Shiv Sainiks that culminated in their arrest on the charge of creating enmity between different groups.
Following the ongoing religious tensions, the Amravati MP said she even invited the Maharashtra CM to join the Hanuman Chalisa chanting adding that her intention was not going against the chief minister.
"In fact, I had invited the Chief Minister to join me in chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. I reiterate that my actions were not against the Chief Minister. However, looking to the fact that my actions may prove detrimental to the law and order situation in Mumbai, I had publicly withdrawn from the said exercise and declared that I shall not be going to CM's residence. I was confined with my husband Ravi Rana, an MLA, in my house," she said.
The Amravati MP further stated that she was not allowed to have water in the same glass as she belongs to the scheduled caste when was taken to Khar Police Station on Saturday.
"I was taken to Khar Police Station on April 23...I made several and repeated demands for drinking water throughout the night; however, no drinking water was provided to me. To my shock and disbelief, the police staff present told me that I belong to Scheduled Caste, hence they will not give me water in the same glass. Thus, I was directly abused on the basis of my caste," she added while slamming the police officials over denial of a basic necessity.
She also cited examples of other such incidents that happened with her when Rana spent a night at the police station adding that the latter was not allowed to use the bathroom due to her "Neechi Jaat Scheduled Castes".
"Further, when I wanted to use the bathroom at the night, police staff paid no heed to my demands. I was again abused in the most filthy language...I was told that we don't let people from Neechi Zaat Scheduled Castes use our bathrooms," the Amravati MP stated.
Navneet Rana said that it's her "honest belief" that Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray completely strayed from its avowed Hindutva principles for obvious reasons.
"It's my honest and bona fide belief that Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray completely strayed from its avowed Hindutva principles for obvious reasons since it wanted to betray public mandate and form post-poll alliance with INC-NCP," she added.
Earlier today, the Ranas approached the Bombay High Court seeking cancellation of the FIR in connection with the Matoshree-Hanuman Chalisa row. The MP-MLA couple was arrested in Mumbai on Sunday. Currently, MLA Ravi Rana is lodged in Taloja Jail and MP Naveneet Rana is lodged in Byculla Jail. (ANI)