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 Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray 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. Backing the stance of the state government on not throwing open religious places for devotees, Pawar contended that it is almost impossible to maintain a safe distance between people due to the huge crowds at shrines even on normal days. Lauding the PM's slogan of 'Do Gaj Ki Doori', the NCP chief pointed out that the Maharashtra government had embarked on the 'My Family, My Responsibility' campaign to educate people on COVID-19 prevention norms. Currently, there are 15,35,315 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Maharashtra out of which 12,81,896 patients have recovered while 40,514 fatalities have been reported.
It was brought to my notice through the media, a letter written by the Hon. Governor of Maharashtra to the @CMOMaharashtra— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) October 13, 2020
In this letter the Hon. Governor has sought the intervention of the Chief Minister to open up religious places for the public. pic.twitter.com/1he2VOatx3
In his letter addressed to Thackeray on Monday, 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.