Maharashtra Governor, CM spar over reopening of shrines

Mumbai, October 13

Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari and CM Uddhav Thackeray engaged in a bitter exchange of words over reopening of places of worship in the state amid the Covid-19 pandemic with “secularism” and “Hindutva” figuring prominently in their discourse.

Has Uddhav suddenly turned secular? It is ironical that while the state govt permitted opening of restaurants and beaches, our gods and goddesses have been condemned to stay in lockdown — BS Koshyari, Governor

The spat started after Koshyari wrote a letter to the CM on Monday, saying, “It is ironical that the state government has permitted opening of bars, restaurants and beaches, but our gods and goddesses have been condemned to stay in the lockdown.”

Thackeray today wrote to the Governor, saying the government will consider his request. The CM said a decision on reopening shrines, a demand being vociferously made by the BJP, would be taken after careful consideration of the Covid-19 situation in the state.

Does Hindutva mean merely reopening religious places? Isn’t secularism a key component of the Constitution by which you swore while taking oath as the state Governor Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister

Koshyari had said he has received three representations from delegations demanding that religious places be reopened. Thackeray pointed out the “coincidence” that all three letters were from BJP supporters.

In the letter to the CM, whose Shiv Sena is wedded to Hindutva, Koshyari asked, “Have you suddenly turned secular, the term you hated?” “While considering people’s beliefs, it is also important to take care of their lives and it is wrong to impose and lift lockdown suddenly,” the CM wrote. — PTI

Intemperate language in letter: Pawar to Prime Minister

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday wrote to PM Narendra Modi, complaining about the “intemperate language” used by M’rashtra Governor BS Koshyari in a letter to the CM. “I am sure he too would have noticed the intemperate language that has been used and this language does not behove well for a person who holds a constitutional position,” he added. PTI

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