Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray entered into a war of words over reopening of temples in the state. It all started after Koshyari on Monday wrote to Thackeray questioning his government’s decision to reopen bars and restaurants while keeping temples shut. Koshiyari also asked whether Thackeray had turned secular, questioning his commitment to Hindutva. The Governor requested Thackeray to announce forthwith the reopening of places of worship with Covid-19 precautions.
Thackeray responded that his Hindutva did not require a certificate from the Governor or anyone else. The Maharashtra CM also included Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut (without naming her) in his response, saying that welcoming people who call Mumbai PoK with smiles does not fall into any definition of Hindutva.
In his letter to the Chief Minister, Koshyari mentioned that he has received three representations from delegations asking that places of worship be reopened. He further asked if he had turned secular, or he received divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again. The places of worship were reopened in other places across the country on June 3, he added.
Responding to the letter, Thackeray questioned Koshyari’s belief of secularism and reminded him of his oath that he took as governor of the state. Further, he pointed out at the three representations that the governor attached, said it was a coincidence that all the three letters mentioned were from BJP office-bearers.
Thackeray said that the state’s primary duty is to take care of public safety needs. The abrupt opening of temples during a pandemic would not be in the best interest of citizen’s health and welfare, said the Minister.
However, the Chief Minister has informed the Governor that the decision on reopening of worship places will be taken under careful consideration.