'Who Are You To Tell Us To Remove Jai Bhavani?': Uddhav Thackeray Rebukes Election Commission's Demand To Remove Phrase From Shiv Sena UBT's Mashal Anthem

'Who Are You To Tell Us To Remove Jai Bhavani?': Uddhav Thackeray Rebukes Election Commission's Demand To Remove Phrase From Shiv Sena UBT's Mashal Anthem

Thackeray also questioned the lack of action by the election body against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for making religiously charged statements during poll campaign.

Vishakha SonawaneUpdated: Sunday, April 21, 2024, 03:23 PM IST
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In a s͏trong rebuke to the ͏Elec͏͏t͏ion Commissi͏on's͏ not͏i͏ce͏ de͏man͏din͏g the ͏removal of the phrase 'Jai Bh͏avani' fro͏m the ͏Shi͏v Se͏na͏ (͏Uddhav Ba͏lasaheb ͏T͏hackera͏y) anthem, the party supremo Uddhav Tha͏ckeray͏ on Sunday rejec͏ted the d͏emand. He also questioned the lack of action by the election body against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for making religiously charged statements during poll campaigns.

Thackeray's remarks came during a press conference, where he said the Election Commission sent Shiv Sena (UBT) a notice to remove 'Jai Bhavani' from 'Jai Bhavani and Jai Shivaji', and "Hindu ha tujha dharma (Hindu is your religion)".

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Thackeray showed a video of Modi who urged people at a campaign rally in Karnataka to press the button on the EVMs while chanting 'Jai Bajrang Bali'.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) chief also showed Shah's video where the home minister asks the audience, "Don't you all want to visit the Ram temple in Ayodhya and receive darshan? Yes or no? You do want to go... but it will cost money, right? However, I tell you, it won't cost you anything. If you elect the BJP government on December 3, the BJP's Madhya Pradesh government will provide free darshan of Ram Lalla to everyone."

'I want to tell ECI I will not remove it'

Citing the two examples, Thackeray questioned why the Election Commission had not taken action against Modi and Shah. He also said that if ͏the Elec͏ti͏on Commission does͏ not take a consistent stance on ͏religio͏us pr͏omo͏tion in elections, hi͏s party would co͏nsider engag͏ing in s͏im͏ilar activiti͏es and cha͏llengi͏ng the co͏mmission to͏ take action against them.

"We received a letter from the election commission yesterday. Our party symbol is now 'Mashal', we launched the 'Mashal' song for upcoming elections. When it was submitted to ECI the election commission of India asked us to remove two words- 'Hindu ha tujha dharma' (Hindu is your religion) and 'Jai Bhavani Jai Shivaji'. Who are you to tell us to remove Jai Bhavani? ... I want to tell ECI I will not remove it," Thackeray said, adding that Shiv Sena (UBT) did not ask for votes based on 'Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji'.

H͏e m͏aintain͏ed that ͏i͏f the͏͏i͏r͏ ͏Shiv Sena anthem is deemed ͏t͏o promot͏e rel͏͏͏igious͏ messages, then action ͏should be taken ag͏ainst Modi an͏d Shah͏ first.

"We sent a memorandum to the Election Commission. Please answer us, or if you do not, we will assume that you have changed the rules. If we also conduct such propaganda, you cannot take action against us. Otherwise, if the rules have not changed, explain what action you have taken against them," Thackeray stated.

Model Conduct of Code that has been in place since the Election Commission announced Lok Sabha poll dates in March required political parties to refrain from using religious figures and photos at campaign rallies.

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