Workers and leaders of the opposition BJP on Monday staged protests in several cities in Maharashtra against the MVA government's stand to not reopen temples as of now, which remain shut due to COVID-19 restrictions.
At many places, social distancing norms were not adhered to while staging demonstrations.
In Pune and Aurangabad, BJP workers tried to force their way into closed temples but were stopped by the police.
As a part of the protest, BJP workers under the leadership of state president Chandrakant Patil held protest outside Kasba Peth Ganpati Mandir in Pune, demanding reopening of religious places in Maharashtra.
Many BJP activists in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Aurangabad and other districts, priests, women devotees and others slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, raising slogans, carrying black placards and posters, for deliberately trampling upon peoples' religious sentiments by keeping temples and other worship places shut.
The BJP agitation came barely four days after the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan's missive to the Maharashtra government asking it to curb crowded festivities for the Dahi-Handi and Ganeshotsav festivals, both mega-crowd pullers in view of the potential threats from the Covid-19 'third wave'.
The state Health Minister Rajesh Tope also warned that the third wave could be a possible 'Tsunami' over 6-million (60-Lakh) cases in the state, or triple the figures notched in the first wave in 2020, and higher than the figures recorded in the first and second waves.