Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari

The CPI (M) on Wednesday demanded sacking of Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for "mocking" secularism in his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for reopening of places of worship.

Koshyari and Thackeray were on Tuesday traded barbs after the former pushed for reopening of places of worship in the state closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and asked the Shiv Sena chief whether he has suddenly turned secular.

Thackeray responded to Koshyari's letter saying he will consider the request but asserted he does not need the governor's certificate for "my Hindutva".

"The Maharashtra governor has crossed all the limits of constitutional propriety by mocking secularism, one of the fundamental principles of our hallowed Constitution.

"In his letter to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, an outrage in itself given the serious nature of the pandemic in the state, he has not only used intemperate language but put the population of the state in jeopardy by demanding the opening of the places of worship," Maharashtra CPI (M) secretary Narsayya Adam said in a release.

Adam stated that reopening one shrine will open a Pandora's box and the vested interests in various faiths will start clamouring for throwing open temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras etc.

"The Maharashtra government has in some earnest tried to contain the pandemic. The governor's uncalled for advice is sure to exacerbate the delicately poised health situation in the state," it said.

The Left party also accused the governor of "undermining" his constitutional office, using "uncultured language", and "dabbling" in the political scenario in the state.

"The governor has become a menace to the public health of Maharashtra. He needs to be relieved of the constitutional responsibility placed on him, which he is unable to carry with grace. The CPI(M) appeals to the President of India to forthwith relieve the governor of his responsibility, which he is sure to go on demeaning," the release said.

It further said that by resorting to "unseemly political shenanigans", the governor has put the President in a difficult dilemma, which is a "strong ground on which he should be sacked forthwith and sent out of the state, lock, stock and barrel".

Meanwhile, leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is part of the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, held a protest in Thane against the governor.

NCP city unit president Anand Paranjpe and other leaders posted a copy of the Constitution of India to the governor.

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