Thackeray trying to keep alliance partners happy by not permitting religious places to reopen: BJP

Despite unlocking several activities and places, the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government is yet to relax norms for temple visits.

Attacking the Maharashtra government for not giving permission for reopening religious places, the BJP on Monday alleged that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was not removing the restrictions to keep the other two alliance partners in Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) happy.

The Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena together form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Despite unlocking several activities and places, the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government is yet to relax norms for temple visits.

The BJP has launched state-wide agitation demanding the reopening of religious places. The protest in Pune was led by state unit chief Chandrakant Patil with mayor Murlidhar Mohol, city unit chief Jagdish Mulik and legislator Mukta Tilak at a temple in Kasba Peth.

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“The ruling MVA has two alliance partners who don’t believe in God just for the sake of safeguarding its vote bank,” Patil said. “The Uddhav Thackeray-led state government is not giving permission for opening up religious places by keeping in mind the two alliance partners.”

“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 as life was coming to normal but did not permit temples to open. The same is happening now after the second wave is well under control,” he added.

Patil further said that the citizens are ready to follow covid appropriate behaviour at religious places. “Social activist Anna Hazare has also warned of an agitation if the state government does not permit religious places to open. The state government does not understand that the religious places for citizens are places of mental peace. It’s not that we are only demanding the opening of temples but also places of worship of Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and Christians,” he said.

Mohol said the state government had failed to handle the pandemic. “This protest is symbolic and will intensify it from tomorrow. 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 the suffering of people,” he said.

Mulik said the state government was following in the footsteps of Mughals by not allowing people to worship in religious places. “We will start worship in temples from today onwards. We challenge the state government to file as many offences as it wants against us.”

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