Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Thursday attributed the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra to an “effect” of the Hanuman Chalisa, whose planned recitation by an MP-MLA couple had triggered a controversy in the adjoining state.
He said it was for the first time in the country that a government had collapsed on the issue of ‘Hindutva’.
“My country is changing. It is happening for the first time that a government has fallen in the name of Hindutva. The collapse of the MVA government in Maharashtra is an effect of the Hanuman Chalisa… in 40 days 40 MLAs left the party (Shiv Sena),” Mishra told reporters at his residence while reacting to political developments in Maharashtra.
Independent Lok Sabha member Navneet Rana and her MLA-husband Ravi Rana were arrested in April 23 by the Mumbai Police after the couple announced they would recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’, which had angered Shiv Sena workers.
Referring to Shiv Sena MP and chief spokesman Sanjay Raut, Mishra, a senior BJP leader, said the former had claimed that the rebel MLAs had been kidnapped (“agua ho gaye”), but the fact was they had turned “bhagwa“ (saffron).
To a question, Mishra said people should ask leaders of the Shiv Sena, and not the BJP, why their MLAs had deserted the party.