Covid-19: BJP, AIMIM bat for reopening places of worship in Maharashtra

Topics Maharashtra | BJP | Coronavirus

Even as Maharashtra continues to

witness rise in COVID-19 cases, political parties BJP and All India Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) have decided to mount pressure on the state government to reopen places of worship.

All establishments including places of worship have remained shut since the coronavirus-induced lockdown was imposed in the state on March 24 to contain the viral spread.

While the state government relaxed restrictions on people's movements and access to shops and businesses, places of worship continue to be shut in the Unlock phase.

The BJP and AIMIM have separately announced their demands for reopening of temples and mosques.

State BJP head Chandrakant Patil has called for a state-wide agitation on August 29 to press for reopening of temples in the state.

The Central government has already issued a circular regarding the reopening of temples and the important ones across the country were already open, Patil said.

"Several individuals and organisations in Maharashtra have repeatedly demanded that the state government permit the reopening of temples. However, despite these appeals, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is unwilling to budge," the BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, AIMIM MP from Aurangabad Imtiyaz Jaleel said, "I am going to open mosques on September 2 even if the state's rule is against it. I also urge Hindus to open their temples on September 1."

The argument that reopening of temples and mosques will trigger the coronavirus spread, but keeping shops open and organising weddings will not, was unacceptable, he said.

"You cannot simply allow one gathering and restrict the others," he added.

However, MNS chief Raj Thackeray has taken a cautious approach in the matter.

When a delegation of priests from Nashik sought his support for reopening of temples, he said, "It is more important to know what precautionary measures the temple management will be taking. I can only extend my support after learning these details.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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