Mumbai: After the acrimonious exchange between Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari and Uddhav Thackeray, the BJP organised agitation in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra demanding an early reopening of temples which have been closed since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some party leaders attempted to enter the Shree Saibaba temple at Shirdi while a group of party leaders including leader of opposition in the council Praveen Darekar and legislator Prasad Lad tried to enter the famous Siddhivinayak temple as part of an agitation.
In Thane, BJP workers, led by MLAs Niranjan Davkhare and Sanjay Kelkar, rang bells as part of the "ghanta naad" protest which was held in front of ancient Ghantali temple.
The protesters carried banners berating the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government for allowing bars and other commercial establishments to resume operations while keeping places of worship closed. Protestors were seen holding placards which read 'Liquor on.....Temple shut, Uddhav your work should be shut', translated from Marathi.
In Pune, BJP activists staged a demonstration outside the famous Tambadi Jogeshwari temple.
As part of the protest, a man was dressed as ''Kumbhakarna'' – a mythological demon from the Ramayana who was known for sleeping for months – and music instruments were played to take potshots at the state government.
"Our protest was to wake up the state government which is sleeping like ''Kumbhkarna'' on the issue of reopening of temples," said Pune city BJP president Jagdish Mulik.
In Aurangabad city, BJP workers led by party MLA Atul Save performed puja and sang devotional songs outside a temple.
Thackeray has informed Koshyari that a decision on reopening places of religious worship will be taken after careful consideration of the COVID-19 situation in the state.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil told reporters that it was "highly unfair" on part of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government to allow beer bars and restaurants to open but to keep temples closed. He accused the government of adopting "double standards" on the issue.