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Hanuman Chalisa row: Rana couple pray at Hanuman temple in Delhi for Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s ouster

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“Uddhav Thackeray is the biggest danger looming over Maharashtra. I have come to offer prayers to rid Maharashtra of this danger,” Navneet Rana told reporters outside the temple.

Independent lawmakers Navneet and Ravi Rana on Saturday recited the Hanuman Chalisa at the Hanuman temple in Delhi and claimed to have prayed for removal of the “biggest danger looming over Maharashtra in the form of Shiv Sena”. The couple was arrested last month on sedition charges after a call for reciting the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence in Mumbai and released on bail 12 days later.

Dressed in a saffron sari and accompanied by her husband and scores of supporters, Navneet Rana, the independent Lok Sabha member from Amravati, walked on foot from her North Avenue residence to the Hanuman temple in Connaught Place to offer prayers.

“Uddhav Thackeray is the biggest danger looming over Maharashtra. I have come to offer prayers to rid Maharashtra of this danger,” Navneet told reporters outside the temple. The Rana couple also performed aarti at the temple. The temple visit comes on a day when Thackeray is scheduled to address a massive rally in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Navneet Rana accused the Shiv Sena of abandoning the cause of Hindutva by joining hands with the Congress and NCP to grab power in Maharashtra. “Uddhav Thackeray has forgotten the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb was the real torchbearer of Hindutva, these are duplicates,” she said to questions on Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s remarks that the time had come to show the real style of Shiv Sena.

Navneet Rana dared Thackeray to take action against “those offering prayers at Aurangzeb’s grave” instead of targeting her for espousing the cause of Hindutva. AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi had offered prayers at the grave of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb at Khuldabad, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Keeping up the attack on Shiv Sena, the Rana couple said they would “overthrow Shiv Sena’s Lanka of corruption” from Mumbai Municipal Corporation, where elections are due. Shiv Sena has been controlling the reins of power in Mumbai municipal corporation, the country’s richest civic body, since 1996.

The battle of Mumbai municipal corporation is keenly watched as it has an annual budget of over Rs 30,000 crore, which is more than that of some of the smaller states in the country.

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