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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Uddhav Thackeray not opening religious places to keep alliance partners happy: BJP

As part of the BJP's state-wide agitation in demand of opening up religious places that were closed down in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, several party leaders and workers visited a temple in Kasba Peth.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: August 30, 2021 7:40:24 pm
BJP state chief Chandrakant Patil along with local party leaders staged an agitation at Kasbapeth Ganapati Temple in Pune. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

Attacking the state government for not giving permissions for religious places to open to public, the BJP on Monday alleged that chief minister and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray was not removing the restrictions to keep his other two alliance partners – the NCP and the Congress — in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government happy.

As part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) state-wide agitation in demand of opening up religious places that were closed down in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the party’s state unit chief Chandrakant Patil, mayor Murlidhar Mohol, city unit chief Jagdish Mulik and legislator Mukta Tilak along with a number of local leaders and party workers visited a temple in Kasba Peth.

Patil said, “The BJP had to struggle to get the state government to allow opening up of religious places after the first wave of Covid. It had started everything (else) as life was coming back to normal but did not permit temples to open. The same is happening now after the second wave is well under control.”

The ruling MVA has two alliance partners who “don’t believe in God just for the sake of safeguarding their vote bank”, the state BJP chief said, adding, “The Uddhav Thackeray-led state government is not giving permission for opening up religious places by keeping them in mind.” Patil said citizens are ready to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour but the religious places need to be opened as the “second wave is in control”.

He said, “Social activist Anna Hazare has also warned of agitation if the state government does not permit religious places to open. The state government does not understand that the religious places are places of mental peace for citizens. It’s not that we are only demanding opening of temples… we are also seeking opening of places of worship for Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and Christians.”

Mohol said, “Pune is the first to go for lockdown and last to relax the rules. Life is coming to normal but religious places are not allowed to open to the public. Many rely on them for their livelihood and religious feelings of people are attached to these places. The chief minister is the most inactive one and cannot understand the feelings of citizens. This protest is symbolic and we will intensify it from tomorrow (Tuesday). We are warning the government not to play with the feelings of people. The politics and lack of coordination within the state government is leading to suffering among people.”

Mulik said the state government was “following in the footsteps of Mughals” by not allowing people to worship at religious places. “We will start worship in temples from today (Monday) onwards. We challenge the state government to file as many offences as it wants against us,” he said as the party workers raised slogans against the CM and deputy CM Ajit Pawar.

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