Supreme Court verdict upholding validity of Navneet Rana’s caste certificate a tight slap for her detractors, says Fadnavis

Following the SC’s verdict upholding the validity of her caste certificate, Ms. Rana alleged that several political leaders had targeted her

April 04, 2024 08:56 pm | Updated 10:26 pm IST - Pune

BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Amravati Navneet Rana with Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis during a rally before filing her nomination, in Amravati on April 04, 2024.

BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Amravati Navneet Rana with Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis during a rally before filing her nomination, in Amravati on April 04, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the validity of incumbent Amravati MP Navneet Rana’s caste certificate was a tight slap on the faces of her detractors, said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday.

Mr. Fadnavis was campaigning on behalf of Ms. Rana, who was recently announced as the ruling Mahayuti’s candidate for the Amravati seat. Ms. Rana field her nomination today.

Hitherto an Independent MP who had backed the BJP, she had formally joined the saffron party soon after her candidature was declared by the BJP high command.

Addressing a massive rally in Amravati, Mr. Fadnavis said, “The SC’s blessings have come on the day when Ms. Rana has filed her nomination. Now, on counting day [June 4], Ms. Rana will get the public’s blessings and be elected with a huge majority. The beginning has been good and the end will be good too.”

Mr. Fadnavis targeted former CM Uddhav Thackeray, chief of the Shiv Sena (UBT), for harassing Ms. Rana and her husband – MLA Ravi Rana – for attempting to recite the Hanuman Chalisa in 2022. ?

“Show me one person in this country who was arrested for attempting to recite the Hanuman Chalisa? But Ms. Rana had to spend a month in police custody for trying to do so. Uddhav Thackeray should tell us that if one cannot recite Hanuman Chalisa in India, then should one recite it in Pakistan?” said Mr. Fadnavis, stating that all the MVA leaders who had given trouble to Ms. Rana in the past would bite the electoral dust in the upcoming election.

Following the SC’s verdict upholding the validity of her caste certificate, Ms. Rana alleged that several political leaders had targeted her while making below-the-belt remarks merely because she was “a woman who hailed from an ordinary family of a former army man”.

Ms. Rana became emotional after the SC’s verdict, and said that the people of Amravati had placed their faith in her through her trials and tribulations.

“I have been enduring this trouble ever since I entered the political field. I had had to suffer character assassination and endure many tough days with detractors gloating that I would be thrown in jail because I had submitted a fake caste certificate. I thank the SC for its decision,” she said.

Ms. Rana staged a massive show of strength in Amravati, a reserved (Scheduled Caste) Lok Sabha seat, while filing her nomination today. Amravati goes to polls in the second phase on April 26.

Ms. Rana’s candidature has sparked off a raging schism within the ruling Mahayuti, with Prahar Jan Shakti party leader Bacchu Kadu on Thursday vowing to campaign against Ms. Rana in a bid to defeat her in the upcoming election.

Mr. Kadu’s PJP has two MLAs in the six Assembly segments that constitute the Amravati Lok Sabha seat. Mr. Kadu is a bitter opponent of Ms. Rana and her husband, MLA Ravi Rana despite all being part of the ruling government and has remained firm about campaigning against Ms. Rana.

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