The Maharashtra BJP on Saturday warned the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government that it would forcibly reopen all the temples in the state if the government did not give permission for it. The BJP’s threat came after a day-long ‘ghantanad andolan’ held across Maharashtra.
As part of the protest, party workers assembled outside temples in various cities and towns, demanding their reopening. Ringing brass bells and blowing conches, they chanted hymns.
“What is the rationale behind keeping places of worship shut. The government has allowed liquor shops, malls and markets to open. But it is against opening temples. It sounds strange,” said former chief minister and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis.
“There are many aspects including livelihood of the poor interlinked to pilgrimage centres to social aspects, which cannot be overlooked. It is a matter of an individual’s faith and belief, which the government should respect and open temples,” he said.
At Miraj, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil participated in the agitation along with party workers. “The protest was necessary to awaken the MVA government. Party workers held demonstrations outside 10,000 temples across Maharashtra. It wants to give a message to the government to wake up and open the temples,” Patil said.
The protest took place outside all prominent temples including Pandharpur temple at Solapur, Shreekhetra at Dehu, Ramkund at Nashik, Sarasbaug Ganesh temple at Pune, Mahalaxmi temple at Kolhapur, Shirdi temple at Ahmednagar and Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai.
Dismissing the state government’s apprehensions, BJP leaders said ICMR guidelines would be strictly followed while reopening temples.
“Every devotee will wear mask. There will be provision for sanitisers and social distancing followed,” a BJP leader said.
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