Finally, after a long wait, Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, broke his silence on the ongoing Hanuman Chalisa row that has led to the arrest of the Member of Parliament Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana. Addressing a crowd, CM Uddhav said, “It’s being said that we’ve ignored Hindutva. Is Hindutva a dhoti or what? Our Hindutva is ‘Gada Dhari’ like Lord Hanuman’s Gada. If you want to recite Hanuman Chalisa, call and come home. But if you resort to ‘Dadagiri’ we know how to crumble it.”
The chief of Shiv Sena was also all guns blazing against their former political ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party. Taking a dig at the BJP, Thackeray said, “The BJP has been claiming that Shiv Sena has left Hindutva. What have we left? Those who are teaching me Hindutva should ask themselves about their contribution to the cause of Hindutva. You were hiding in a rat hole when Babri (Masjid) was demolished (on December 6, 1992).”
He also attacked the BJP on the issue of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. Lashing out at the BJP for taking the credit for the construction of a grand temple in Ayodhya, Thackeray said “The decision on the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was not taken by your (BJP’s) government but it was the Supreme Court that paved the way for the same.”
Earlier, Navneet Rana, who is a MP from the Amravati constituency, was arrested along with her MLA husband Ravi Rana for urging people to chant the Hanuman Chalisa outside the Chief Minister’s private residence- ’Matoshree’ in Mumbai. The Police have registered a FIR against them and charges of sedition have been levelled against them.