The Shiv Sena is fighting against those who plan to divide the country by causing riots in the name of Hanuman Chalisa, and party founder, late Bal Thackeray, would have been happy with the party cadres for resisting such attempts, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Saturday. Raut made the comments a day after Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey took a potshot at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government over ‘arresting people for reciting Hanuman Chalisa’.
”Of late, I have seen here that arrests were made for reciting the Hanuman Chalisa or taking the name of Lord Ram. The soul of Thackeray saheb (late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray) would have been hurt,” Choubey, a BJP leader, had told reporters in Pune.
Independent MP from Amravati Navneet Rana and her husband and independent MLA Ravi Rana had announced that they would recite Hanuman Chalisa in front of Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai last Saturday. However, the couple was arrested and booked under sedition and other charges. ”He (Choubey) need not worry about Balasaheb Thackeray. The Shiv Sena is fighting those who plan to divide this country by causing riots in the name of Hanuman Chalisa. Balasaheb Thackeray will shower us with flowers for doing so…he will be happy seeing us do this,” Raut told reporters here when asked about the minister’s remark. Referring to a past comment made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and a forest dweller, Raut said, ”If people who make such statements are telling us about Hanuman Chalisa, then Choubey should read ‘Yogi Chalisa’.” ”We know what Hanuman is. Maharashtra is a worshipper of Lord Ram and Hanuman. You don’t worry about Balasaheb Thackeray,” the Sena leader added. The Rajya Sabha member also said Thackeray ”may have shed a single drop of tear after the BJP betrayed the Shiv Sena”.
To a question about Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray holding a meeting with party leaders on Saturday, Raut said the former asked the leaders to give answers to ”anti-social organizations and elements” who have allegedly conspired to defame the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra.
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”We observed restraint in some cases earlier since we are in power (in Maharashtra). But if water starts flowing above our head (if things are going out of control), then we will have to drown others in that water,” he added, without naming anyone or any incident.