The Shiv Sena on Saturday said that characters from Ramayana should keep their caste certificates handy amid an ongoing debate over the caste of Hindu god Hanuman, PTI reported. It said that ally Bharatiya Janata Party was making attempts in Uttar Pradesh to write a “new Ramayana” by attaching caste labels to Hanuman, which should be avoided.

“Despite the BJP facing defeats in the recent elections, this debate over the caste of Hanuman is likely to continue,” the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in Saamana. “Hence, other characters from the Ramayana should keep their caste certificates ready now.”

The party said it was “pointless” to discuss the religion and caste of Hanuman, who is an important character in the Ramayana. While Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath last month had claimed that Hanuman was a Dalit, BJP Member of Legislative Council Bukkal Nawab last week claimed the deity was a Muslim. The next day, State Minister for Religious Affairs Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary called Hanuman a Jat.

“In a way, they are making fun of Hanuman,” said the Sena. “But those who call themselves guardians of Hindutva are still mum over this. Had this been done by Muslims or ‘progressive’ people, then this Hindutva brigade would have created an uproar.”

“This way, a new Ramayana is being penned in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly and caste labels are being attached to all its leading characters,” said the party led by Uddhav Thackeray. “A temple of Lord Ram is planned to be constructed in Ayodhya, but these people are trying to find the caste of the devotee of Ram.”