Pressure is mounting from various quarters on the Maharashtra Government for the reopening of temples including the Shirdi temple in the state. Political parties and social organizations have pressed the need for reopening while few have threatened to approach the court of law against the state government.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has repeatedly said that he was not in a hurry to relax lockdown norms including reopening of religious places amidst the rising coronavirus pandemic cases in the state. He has urged all communities and religious leaders to observe self-discipline and avoid crowding.
Parties and social organizations have argued that because of the closure since March 22 onwards temples have hit hard. Shirdi Temple Trust has cited that it has incurred a loss of over Rs 1,000 crore and its trustees have threatened to fight a legal battle as well as sit on hunger strike against the state government’s decision not to reopen the temples.
Trustees of Swami Samarth temple at Akkalkot situated on the Maharashtra Karnataka border are also pressing for its reopening. They have cited the closure has severely impacted the local businesses which depend on the devotees visiting the temple.
Prakash Ambedkar led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) has supported the Vishwa Varkari Sena's demand for reopening of all large temples in Maharashtra and permission to perform bhajans.
Sadhus of the Warkari sect, as well as chiefs of the various temple institutions, are going to hold a big agitation in Pandharpur town on August 31, against the continued lockdown of large temples in the state.
Pandharpur in Solāpur district is an important religious centre in the state but due to the Covid 19 crisis the temple has been closed.