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Will consider reopening temples after Dussehra, Diwali if Covid is under control: Tope

“The state government is not against reopening places of worship. But there is still concern about the virus," the Maharashtra Health Minister said.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
September 13, 2021 11:13:36 am
Devotees carry an idol of Lord Ganesha in Mumbai. (PTI)

The state government will consider reopening temples after Dussehra and Diwali provided the Covid-19 situation in the state under control, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday.

The statement comes amid muted celebrations during the 10-days-long Ganesh festival owing to the pandemic. The opposition BJP has expressed disappointment over the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s decision to keep temples closed. The top state leadership has repeatedly urged the government to reopen the temple during the ongoing Ganesh festival, a request that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has rejected citing the threat of a third wave.

“The state government is not against reopening places of worship. But there is still concern about the virus. If the situation comes under control, the state government will positively consider reopening temples after Dussehra and Diwali,” Tope said.

Earlier, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil had hit out at the government’s policies on places of worship. “The government was prompt in opening bars and liquor shops which also draw huge crowds. However, when it comes to temples, they always have the Covid-19 card to play,” he added.

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