Nagpur, Oct 24, 2020: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its affiliate Bajrang Dal on Saturday launched an agitation demanding the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government to re-open temples across the state at the earliest.
According to reports, members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal staged a protest by beating the drums and ringing the bells near the famous Sai Baba temple in Nashik’s Shirdi.
Apart from Shirdi, the Vishva Hindu Parishad members also staged protests in several cities across Maharashtra demanding that temples be reopened as soon as possible.
In Nagpur, VHP workers staged demonstrations outside 11 temples, Govind Shende, an office-bearer of the organization, said. "You have opened malls, markets, and even liquor shops. What is the problem with temples?" he asked.
VHP has also threatened to intensify its stir if the Maharashtra government fails to reopen temples in the state. The Hindu outfit has warned that they will break the locks of the temples and other religious places if the gates are not opened to the public soon.
BJP and Shiv Sena are at the loggerheads over the issue of re-opening of temples across Maharashtra. Prior to this, BJP had conducted campaigns outside prominent temples like the Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Mumbai and the Sai Baba sanctuary in Shirdi.
Slogans were raised against the coalition government in Maharashtra and against the CM for not containing the spread of the coronavirus infection properly.
Demonstrators alleged that the administration was playing with the emotions of the devotees. Hindu outfits have accused CM Uddhav Thackeray of opening only restaurants, bars and cinema halls but not the temples in the state.
The Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government has said that places of worship would not be reopened at present in view of the coronavirus pandemic.