The Shiv Sena has claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) orchestrated the Hanuman Chalisa row in its desperation to oust the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
"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," it said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana' on Monday.
Slamming Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana for their changing political affiliations, the 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, adding "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 also argued that the "couple faked their caste certificates in order to contest the election from a reserved seat".
"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'.
On Saturday, Amravati Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana, an MLA, had announced their plan to chant 'Hanuman Chalisa' outside 'Matoshree', the private residence of the state Chief Minster Uddhav Thackeray.
Following this, Shiv Sena workers protested outside the residence of Navneet and Ravi Rana in their bid to stop them from reaching the Chief Minister's residence.
The Ranas later withdrew their plan to chant 'Hanuman Chalisa'. They were sent to judicial custody on Sunday for 14-days by the Holiday and Sunday court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Bandra.
The MP-MLA couple's bail application will be heard by the court on April 29.