Maharashtra Guv, CM Uddhav Spar Over Reopening Places of Worship
CM Thackeray, meanwhile, responded to the governor saying that he needs to provide no proof of his Hindutva to him.
A war of words has erupted between Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over places of worship remaining closed in the state, after the former in a letter to the CM asked whether he had turned “secular”.
CM Thackeray, meanwhile, has responded to him saying that he needs to provide no proof of his Hindutva to the governor.
In the letter written on Monday, Governor Koshyari had requested the CM to “announce forthwith the reopening of all the places of worship with all necessary COVID-19 precautions”.
Stating that CM Thackeray had been “a strong votary of Hindutva”, the letter went on to question, “I wonder if you're receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing re-opening, or you've suddenly turned 'secular' yourselves, the term you hated?”
The governor also reminded CM Thackeray that other cities had reopened places of worship a long time ago and had seen no spike in COVID-19 cases, saying that it was "ironical" that bars, restaurants and beaches were allowed to open and "our gods and goddesses have been condemned to stay in the lockdown".
On Tuesday however, CM Thackeray responded to Governor Koshyari with his own letter, saying that since imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, lifting it completely at once will also be not a good thing. He added that he would take a decision after careful consideration at the soonest.
Thackeray added that he was constantly working on what good could be done for the state and that he was monitoring what was happening in other states as well.
The CM further retorted to the governor’s comment on his Hindutva.
“You spoke about my Hindutva in the letter that you sent yesterday, but my Hindutva doesn't need certification from you. I don’t need to learnt about Hindutva from anybody else,” the chief minister replied.
The CM also pointed out that most of the delegates Governor Koshyari had mentioned in his letter, who were requesting the reopening of places of worship, were stakeholders of the BJP.
BJP Demands Reopening of Places of Worship
Meanwhile, the BJP, on Tuesday, carried out statewide protests demanding the reopening of places of worship in Maharashtra. One of the sites of their protest is the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, according to ANI, while the Siddhivinayak temple is another.
ANI reported that there was heavy police deployment and barricading at the latter, despite which protesters tried to enter the temple.
Several BJP workers were detained by police after their attempt to enter the temple as well, among them BJP leader Prasad Lad.
Earlier on Tuesday, speaking to ANI, Lad had said, “We are demanding that we should be allowed to enter the Siddhivinayak temple. If they don't give us entry, then we will force our way into the temple. This is a pan-Maharashtra movement as we want that all temples in the state should be reopened as soon as possible.”
“Liquor and wine shops have been opened, even with home delivery options. But who will think about those who want to visit the temple for their mental peace? The government is not thinking about small traders whose livelihood depends on temples,” another BJP leader Pravin Darekar, who was also part of the demonstrations, said, according to ANI.
(With inputs from ANI)
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