Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, urging to announce reopening of places of worship in the state.
Pawar wrote that he agreed that the Governor could have his independent views and opinions on the issue, he also appreciated the prerogative of the Governor to convey his views to the Chief Minister. He added that however, he was shocked and surprised to see the letter of the Governor to the media and the kind of language used in the letter.
He added that he was that PM too would have noticed the intemperate language that had been used, in the very Preamble of the Constitution, the word ‘Secular’ was added that equates and shields all religions and hence the Chair of the CM must uphold such tenets of the Constitution.
The NCP chief further stated that in the letter Governor has sought the intervention of Chief Minister to open religious places for the public. As you would be aware that Maharashtra has a large number of religious places where a huge gathering of people is observed.
In fact the places like Siddhivinayak Temple of Mumbai, Lord Vithhala Temple of Pandharpur, Shree Saibaba Temple of Shirdi and other places of worship irrespective of religious witness huge crowds even on normal days. In such places, it is almost impossible to maintain a safe distance between people. Keeping this in view the Government of Maharashtra had decided to stagger the decision regarding opening up of places of worship, he added.
Meanwhile, responding to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s letter over the issue of reopening of places of worship in the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said his Hindutva does not need verification from Koshyari.
“As imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, revoking it completely at once will also be not a good thing. And yes, I am someone who follows Hindutva, my Hindutva doesn’t need verification from you,” the Chief Minister said.
Koshyari, through a letter written on Monday, had urged the Maharashtra CM to announce the reopening of places of worship in the state. He had cited that religious places have reopened in Delhi, and across the nation, without any surge being witnessed in the COVID-19 cases, and had further questioned the motive behind delaying the same in Maharashtra.
“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?” Koshyari’s letter read. The letter also included representations received by the Governor from various groups asking for the reopening of temples and other places of worship.
It is important to note that the exchange between the Governor and Chief Minister is happening at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party is organising demonstrations across the state, demanding re-opening of temples for devotees. Earlier today, BJP leader Prasad Lad, along with other party workers, was detained by police during a protest held outside Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai.