The ‘war of words’ has come in light between Maharashtra Governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray over the reopening of places of worship in the state, which have been shut since March in the wake of lockdown following coronavirus pandemic.

On 12th October 2020,  the BJP launched a state-wide agitation to press its demand for reopening of places of worship. Governor of Maharashtra, Koshyari wrote a sarcasm filled letter, requesting the CM to announce forthwith the reopening all the places of worship with all necessary Covid-19 precautions. “You have been a strong votary of Hindutwa, you had publicly espoused your devotion for lord Rama by visiting Ayodhya after taking charge as CM, you had visited the Vitthal Rukmini Mandir, Pandharpur and performed the puja on Ashadhi Ekadishi,,” Koshyari said in his letter. Koshyari also added, “I wonder if you`re receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing re-opening or you`ve suddenly turned `secular` yourself, the term you hated?” Koshyari also said that it is ironic that the government has opened bars and restaurants, but sites of worship remain closed.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray then finally replied to the letter sent to him by the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari . Uddhav while replying to the request of the governor said that the Maharashtra government is considering opening religious places but not in haste. He also clarified that he follows Hindutva ideologies and does not needs a certificate for his religious beliefs from other people.

Speaking to the media the CM Thackeray said, “as imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, revoking it completely at once will also not be a good thing. And yes, I am someone who follows Hindutva, my Hindutva doesn`t need verification from you.”

The exchange between the Governor and the Chief Minister has come at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party is holding demonstrations across the state demanding re-opening of temples.

Also, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who rushed to organise an oath ceremony for Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday morning, has given the BJP government in Maharashtra 14 days to prove majority in the assembly, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times on Monday. The deadline starts from Saturday morning after the Centre revoked President’s rule in Maharashtra a little before 6 am and Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister.

Fadnavis’ early morning oath ceremony sparked off a huge controversy, particularly after Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar distanced his party from the letter of support handed over to Fadnavis by the NCP’s legislature party chief Ajit Pawar. Ajit has since then been removed by the party.But all official statements by Raj Bhavan and the chief minister’s office on the new government skipped any mention of the deadline for the new government to clear the trust vote.

Earlier yesterday, BJP leader Prasad Lad, along with several party workers, was detained by police for protesting outside the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai. Protests were also staged outside the Shirdi Sai Baba temples across the state demanding the opening of religious places.

Source: Times of India.

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