A bitter exchange of words has erupted between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over the reopening of places of worship in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, the Governor wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray seeking re-opening of places of worship with COVID precautions.
“I wonder if you’re receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing re-opening or you’ve suddenly turned ‘secular’ yourselves, the term you hated?” letter stated.
‘It is ironical that while the government has allowed opening up of bars, pubs and even beaches, but on the other hand our gods and goddesses have been kept closed in the lockdown,’ Koshyari wrote in the letter.
“You have been a strong votary of Hindutva. You had publicly espoused your devotion for Lord Rama by visiting Ayodhya after taking charge as Chief Minister. You had visited the Vitthal Rukmini Mandir in Pandharpur and performed the puja on Ashadhi Ekadashi,” the Governor wrote.
Koshyari also mentioned that several delegations met him during the last three months on this issue, demanding reopening of places of worship.
Hitting back, Thackeray said his Hindutva did not require a certificate from the governor or anyone. “As imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, revoking it completely at once will also not be a good thing,” the Chief Minister said.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi criticized the letter and said, “A governor swears by the constitution while taking oath to the chair but is now having a problem with what is to be followed by the very same constitution?Was the letter drafted as a BJP member? Does the Hon.Pres agree with the spirit&content of Maha Governor’s letter to Hon. CM?”
“I would request Hon. @rashtrapatibhvn to take this up and remind the governor that he is duty bound to follow constitutional norms and not speak as BJP spokesperson,” she added.