Entering the row between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has said that the Prime Minister should take cognizance of the "sarcastic" remarks made by the Maharashtra Governor.
In a series of tweets, he opined that Governor's letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has brought down the dignity of the high constitutional office. On the demands of reopening of temples, he cited the case of his state Rajasthan, claiming that Dharma Gurus acted sensibly and decided not to open the places of worship. His reaction comes even as Ashok Gehlot is facing the heat of opposition after a priest was killed in Rajasthan's Karauli.
Guidelines were released and instructions were issued to open all places of worship in Rajasthan but all our Dharma Gurus (religious leaders and priests) acted sensibly and decided not to open any place of worship till now.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) October 14, 2020
On the contrary, the Governor of Maharashtra’s sarcastic remarks for the Chief Minister of the state on this issue are not at all appropriate. Such remarks are not acceptable in democracy.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) October 14, 2020
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining about the conduct of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. He raised concerns about Koshyari's alleged use of "intemperate language" in his letter to CM Uddhav regarding the demand to reopen places of worship. While acknowledging that free exchange of views must take place between the Governor and the CM, he stressed that the tone and tenor used must suit the stature of the constitutional position occupied by the individual. To buttress his point, he quoted two specific instances from the letter which raised questions on Thackeray's stance on Hindutva and secularism.
In his letter addressed to CM Thackeray on Monday, Governor Koshyari requested the Maharashtra CM to immediately announce the reopening of religious places with all necessary COVID-19 precautions. Lamenting that the MVA government refrained from opening places of worship for devotees in the Unlock 5 phase, he expressed disappointment that "Gods and Goddesses had been condemned to stay in the lockdown". The Maharashtra Governor mentioned that several delegations of religious leaders, political leaders and NGOs had met him in this regard during the last three months.
Observing that Thackeray has been a huge votary of Hindutva, Koshyari asked him on whether he received any "divine premonition" to keep postponing the reopening of religious places. Moreover, he questioned the Sena chief, "Have you suddenly turned 'secular' yourselves, the term you hated?" Noting that places of worship were opened across the country from the end of June, he claimed that a huge surge in COVID-19 cases was not reported anywhere. Responding to the Governor, Thackeray stated that the primary responsibility of his government is to safeguard the lives of the people. Additionally, he assured Koshyari that a decision on reopening religious places will be taken at the earliest.
In a heated response, CM Uddhav Thackeray said that his 'Hindutva' did not need a 'certificate' from him. "Sir, what you have mentioned about my Hindutva in this letter is correct, but my Hindutva does not need your certificate. Also, I don't need to learn it from anyone. 'Have you suddenly turned ‘Secular’ yourselves, the term you hated?' Why should we ask such a question? Are you saying that only opening places of worship is Hindutva and not opening them is secular? So don't you agree that secularism is the core of the event in which you were sworn in as Governor?" asked Uddhav Thackeray in his letter to the Governor.