My Hindutva doesn't need verification from you: Uddhav Thackeray tells Maharashtra Guv on reopening of temples

Updated: 13 October, 2020 14:15 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

In the letter, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari questioned whether Uddhav Thackeray had 'turned secular'

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, seeking re-opening of places of worship in the state with COVID-19 precautions.

In the letter, Koshyari questioned whether Thackeray had ‘turned secular’.

“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,” Koshyari wrote.

“I wonder if you are receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again or have you turned 'secular' yourselves, a term you hated?” the letter further read.

Koshyari also called it "ironical" that the state government had permitted bars, restaurants and beaches to open and "on the other hand, our Gods and Goddesses have been condemned to stay in the lockdown".

Replying to the letter, Uddhav Thackeray said he always follows Hindutva and his Hindutva doesn't need verification from the governor or anyone.

“As imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, revoking it completely at once will also be not a good thing. And yes, I am someone who follows Hindutva, my Hindutva doesn't need verification from you,” the Maharashtra CM replied.

To the Governor's ‘request' to immediately announce reopening places of worship as he had received many requests and representations, Thackeray took a swipe saying the three memorandums were from the Bharatiya Janata Party which would be a ‘coincidence'.

Nevertheless, he assured the Governor that the state government would consider his request seriously and take an appropriate decision soon with all coronavirus precautions.

Shiv Sena Spokesperson and MP said the Hon' Governor should not interfere in the state government's functioning since it is democratically-elected, and should only be concerned if the government is functioning as per the Constitutional norms.

Meanwhile, about 30 BJP workers, including the leader of opposition in Legislative Council Praveen Darekar and Prasad Lad, were detained on Tuesday by the Mumbai police after they made an attempt to enter Siddhivinayak temple amidst heavy police deployment and barricading. The Maharashtra BJP leaders are demanding that all temples should be reopened for devotees across the state.

BJP protestBJP workers protest outside Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai

BJP leader Pravin Darekar said, “Liquor and wine shops have been opened, even with home delivery options. But who will think about those who want to visit the temple for their mental peace? The government is full of ego and not thinking about small traders whose livelihood depends on temples.”

Another BJP leader Prasad Lad said, “We are demanding that we should be allowed to enter the Siddhivinayak temple. If they don't give us entry, then we will force our way into the temple. This is a pan-Maharashtra movement as we want that all temples in the state should be reopened as soon as possible.”

BJP workers across the state participated in the protests, demanding religious places be reopened. It will be held outside temples in various parts of the state.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 15,35,315 COVID-19 cases including 40,514 deaths so far.

(With inputs from Anurag Kamble)

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First Published: 13 October, 2020 13:42 IST

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