Hanuman Chalisa Row: MLA Ravi Rana Calls Off Protest Citing PM Modi’s Mumbai Visit

New Delhi: Maharashtra MLA Ravi Rana and his MP wife Navneet Rana, who were firm on their plan to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s ‘Matoshree’ residence in Mumbai, called off their protest as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the financial capital on Sunday.

“Leader of Opposition and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke to me and told me about Prime Minister Narendra Modi being honoured Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar award on Sunday,” Ravi Rana told a press conference in Mumbai, PTI reported.

“Therefore, in order to avoid any untoward incident a day before the programme today, we decided to withdraw our decision to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside the residence of the CM,” he added.

The independent MLA from Badnera in Amravati district also praised former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“As a CM, Fadnavis has brought huge development to Maharashtra, whereas Uddhav Thackeray has not done anything in the last two and half years of his tenure,” said Ravi Rana.

“If there is an iota of late Balasaheb Thackeray’s thoughts left in Uddhav Thackeray, he should not distance himself from the Hindutva ideology,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to attend the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Awards Ceremony in Mumbai on Sunday evening where he will be conferred the first Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award.

“This award, which has been instituted in memory of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, will be given every year exclusively to one individual for exemplary contribution towards nation building,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a release.

Earlier on Friday, the Mumbai Police issued a notice to the couple, asking them not to disrupt the law and order situation.

A team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Manjunath Singe visited their residence and served them a notice from the Kherwadi Police Station under Section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), PTI reported.

Ravi Rana, who supported the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena government during 2014-19, had earlier told the media in Mumbai that he had demanded Chief Minister Thackeray read the Hanuman Chalisa on Hanuman Jayanti “to rid Maharashtra of crises and attain peace for the state”, but the latter had “refused” to do so.

His demand followed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) supremo Raj Thackeray’s ‘ultimatum’ to the state government to remove loudspeakers from the mosques by May 3.

This assertion by the MNS chief, who had threatened to play Hanuman Chalisa outside the mosques if the demand was not met, was supported by the BJP.

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