Uddhav Thackeray to EC: ‘Will not remove ‘Hindu’, ‘Jai Bhavani’ from party song’

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said he has received a notice from the Election Commission (EC) to remove the words ‘Jai Bhavani’ and ‘Hindu’ from his party’s new anthem, but he has won. Don’t stick to it. He said asking for the removal of “Jai Bhavani” from the national anthem was an insult to Maharashtra.

Addressing a press conference, Thackeray said his party has come up with an anthem to popularize the new poll symbol ‘mashal’ (flaming torch) and the EC has asked for the removal of the words ‘Hindu’ and ‘Jai Bhavani’ from Het. “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj founded Hindavi Swaraj with the blessings of Goddess Tulja Bhavani. We are not asking for votes in the name of Goddess or Hindu religion. This is an insult and will not be tolerated,” he said.

The Sena UBT chief said he will continue the practice of saying “Jai Bhavani” and “Jai Shivaji” during his public meetings. “If the poll body takes action against us, they will have to tell us what they did when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his campaign for the Assembly elections in Karnataka, had asked people to say Jai Bajrang Bali and press the button of the EVMs . Shah had told people to vote for the BJP to get Ram Lalla darshan for free in Ayodhya,” he said.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) has asked the ECI whether the laws have been changed and whether it is now okay to seek votes in the name of religion, he said. “The poll body has not responded to our letter and the reminder we sent. In the memory, we had said that if the laws are changed, we will also say ‘Har Har Mahadev’ during our election rallies.”

The former chief minister said his father, Balasaheb Thackeray, was not allowed to vote or contest elections for six years because he campaigned for Hindutva when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister. The party had also asked the European Commission to clarify whether Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah’s speeches during the recent parliamentary elections invoking religion were ‘corrupt practices’ (under the Representation of People Act), he claimed.

Shiv Sena (UBT) was earlier part of the NDA but left the alliance in 2019 over power-sharing in Maharashtra. The Sena has allied with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Congress.
(With inputs from PTI)