Anna Hazare, the social activist, has raised questions over the Maharashtra government’s orders to open bars and pubs in the state while the temples are still closed. Hazare has offered his support if devotees hold protests to lift curbs on the temples in the state.
In his statement, Hazare added that the government seems fine with the big queues outside liquor shops in the state, but they are not okay with reopening the temples. Reportedly, he met a delegation of people demanding the reopening of the temples across the state.
He said, “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.” Hazare has assured support for the delegation and offered to be with them if they stage an agitation to reopen the temples.
BJP staged protests to reopen temples
On August 30, Chandrakant Patil, state chief BJP, held a ‘shankhnad andolan’ and sought the reopening of temples for the public. Protests were held by the party workers outside temples across the state in cities including Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Nagpur and Solapur. The party workers marched towards the temples blowing conch shells. Patil said, “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.”
While the state government has allowed several sectors to function in the state and have allowed fully vaccinated people to travel in local train, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government is still unwilling to open temples claiming it may lead to further spread of Covid-19 in the state.
Covid-19 in Maharashtra
On August 30, Maharashtra reported 3,741 new cases of Covid-19. There are 51,834 active cases in the state. So far, the state has reported 64,60,680 cases of Covid-19. 62,68,112 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 1,37,209 people have lost their lives due to complications associated with coronavirus infection. So far, the state has administered 5.7 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.