5 Facts On Navneet Rana, BJP Amravati Candidate Who Was At The Centre Of Hanuman Chalisa Row

Navneet Rana won the Amravati seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate

5 Facts On Navneet Rana, BJP Amravati Candidate Who Was At The Centre Of Hanuman Chalisa Row

Controversial leader Navneet Rana has been picked by the BJP as its candidate for the Amravati Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra. Ms Rana, who was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019 as an Independent candidate, joined the BJP last week in the presence of the party's state unit chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule.

Five acts about Navneet Rana:

1. Navneet Rana was born on January 3, 1986, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, to Harbhajan Singh Kundless -- an Army official --  and Rajani Kaur. Ms Rana attended Karthika High School until Class 10. After Class 12, she discontinued her education and pursued a career in modelling, eventually transitioning to acting in music videos and films.

2. Ms Rana entered the entertainment industry and featured in the Telugu film Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi (2004). Over the next six years, she was seen in several Bollywood, Telugu, Malayalam and Punjabi films. In 2011, she married Ravi Gangadhar Rana in a mass wedding blessed by Baba Ramdev. Ravi Rana is an independent MLA from the Badnera constituency in Maharashtra.

3. Navneet Rana made her electoral debut a decade ago, unsuccessfully contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Amravati in 2014 on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket. Five years later, she again tried her luck, this time as an independent candidate. She defeated Anandrao Adsul, the sitting Shiv Sena MP from Amravati, by a margin of 36,951 votes with NCP support.

4. Over the last few years, the Amravati MP has courted a few controversies. In June 2021, the Bombay High Court imposed a Rs 2 Lakh fine on Ms Rana for submitting a fake “mochi” caste certificate. The court also cancelled the certificate. Ms Rana, then, moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order. The top court finished the hearing in February 2024 and reserved the verdict.

5. In April 2022, Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana were arrested by Mumbai Police for insisting on reciting the Hanuman Chalisa in front of then-Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's residence Matoshri. They faced charges of sedition and assault on a public servant. The couple was sent to 14-day judicial custody. In May 2022, a Mumbai court said that mere expression of derogatory or objectionable words was not sufficient ground for invoking sedition against the Rana couple in the Hanuman Chalisa case. They were later granted bail.