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‘Why keep bars open and temples shut?’: Anna Hazare puts Maharashtra govt in spot

Anna Hazare pointed out “big queues” outside liquor shops to question the MVA government’s refusal to reopen temples.

‘Why keep bars open and temples shut?’: Anna Hazare puts Maharashtra govt in spot
Anna Hazare pointed out "big queues" outside liquor shops to question the MVA government's refusal to reopen temples.

Social activist Anna Hazare has questioned the Maharashtra government’s decision to not reopen temples in the state when bars and pubs were allowed to function. He said he would extend his support if agitation is held for lifting curbs on temples. 

Hazare pointed out “big queues” outside liquor shops to question the MVA government’s refusal to reopen temples. He also said a delegation of some people demanding reopening of temples had met him.

“Why the state government is not opening temples? What danger the state government sees in opening temples for people? If COVID-19 is the reason, then there are big queues outside liquor shops,” he said.

Hazare, 84, said he had assured the delegation of his support and told them that he will be with them if they stage an agitation demanding reopening of temples.

Meanwhile, BJP workers led by the party’s state chief Chandrakant Patil held a ‘shankhanad andolan’ Monday seeking to open up the shrines for the public. Protests were staged at temples in several places including Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Solapur and Nagpur.

Party leaders and workers walked to the places of worship blowing conch shells. Patil led the demonstration in Pune where a group of BJP workers walked into Kasbapeth Ganesh Temple demanding that it be reopened.

“The shankhanad is necessary to wake up the Maha Vikas Aghadi government which is in deep slumber. Pleas demanding the reopening of temples have gone unheard for the past 15 months,” Patil said.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led government reopened many sectors and also allowed common people, who are fully vaccinated, to travel in local trains in Mumbai as the coronavirus scenario improved over weeks. However, the state government is still wary about reopening religious places fearing the spread of coronavirus especially when a third wave of the pandemic is being projected.

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First published on: 30-08-2021 at 15:22 IST