‘Contest election against me’: Navneet Rana challenges Uddhav Thackeray
Speaking to reporters after being discharged from Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on Sunday, independent MP Navneet Kaur Rana challenged Shiv Sena supremo and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to contest an election against her. “I challenge Uddhav Thackeray ji to choose a constituency and get directly elected by people. I will fight against him. I will work hard, and with honesty, and win the election, and he will come to know of people's power,” the parliamentarian from the state's Amravati Lok Sabha seat said.
Navneet Rana, and her husband, independent MLA from Amravati, Ravi Rana, were arrested by the Mumbai Police on April 23, and charged with sedition, for their call to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree, the chief minister's private residence. They were granted bail on May 4; the couple came out of jail a day later after which the former actor was hospitalised for spondylitis treatment.
Meanwhile, speaking about the Hanuman Chalisa episode, the Amaravati MP said she would not stop chanting the names of Lord Ram and Hanuman. “What crime did I commit that I was jailed for 14 days? Mumbai and Lord Ram will teach the Shiv Sena a lesson in the upcoming civic polls. I will campaign against the Sena,” she announced.
Uddhav Thackeray, unlike the Ranas, is not a directly elected representative. He became chief minister in late 2019 after then-ruling allies, Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), went their separate ways. The Thackeray-led outfit then joined hands with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which governs the western state.
At the time of assuming charge as CM, Thackeray was not a member of either House of the state legislature. He was elected unopposed to the legislative council--the Upper House--in May 2020, thus retaining his chair.
(With PTI inputs)
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