Maharashtra temple face-off: BJP leaders stage protest in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur
Mumbai: Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) workers on Tuesday protested outside Mumbai's Siddhivinayak temple against the Uddhav Thackeray led government (Maha Vikas Aghadi), demanding reopening of all temples in Maharashtra. Protesters also tried to enter the temple amidst heavy police deployment and barricading.
India TV quoted BJP Leader Prasad Lad as saying, "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 asap.
Apart from Mumbai, the protest was being staged at Pune, Nagpur, Shirdi, Kolhapur and other districts. The opposition in the state BJP targeted the Uddhav Thackrey government and stated that his government has permitted the reopening of bars so why can't they allow reopening of temples?
Soon after the state government permitted some relaxations on the lockdown in the state, the BJP leaders were seen demanding reopening of temples in Maharashtra. There have been a continuous war of words between BJP and Shiv Sena over the matter. Earlier, former Maharashtra CM and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis also aimed the government saying that people know how to maintain social distancing. To this Shiv Sena said that the members of BJP are themselves seen flouting social distancing norms its own Ghanta Naad Andolan.
Meanwhile, Governor of the state Bhagat Singh Koshyari also penned a letter to CM Thackeray on reopening of temples in the state. He also said that on one hand, the government is allowing bars and restaurants to reopen but temples are still closed. Over the past three months, several delegations have visited him in this regard. You are a staunch supporter of Hindutva. After taking oath as the Chief Minister, you also went to Ayodhya. You went to Pandharpur and worshiped Vitthal Rukmini. The temple has been opened in several states and the temple should be opened in Maharashtra by implementing the guidelines, the governor said in the letter.
Uddhav responded by reminding Governor that the oath latter took while assuming the post was on the constitution whose vital part was secularism. Uddhav questioned whether Governor does not accept secularism.