Pune: Demanding the reopening of all religious places in the State, BJP staged a protest in Pune on Monday (August 30). State chief Chandrakant Patil asked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to open religious places by evening as the BJP launched Shankhnaad Andolan.
Patil said that the government is ignoring the sentiments of crores of people who celebrate their festivals with great enthusiasm.
"If the government can allow shops, pubs, etc to open for the general public, then why not religious places," asked Patil.
This protest comes against the backdrop of the Maharashtra government's slew of directions ahead of the festivals, such as the ban on procession for Ganesh Chaturthi, restrictions on the height of idols, The government has also asked the police to convince the local groups to cooperate with the government and keep the festivals a low-key affair in the state.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, social activist Anna Hazare said that if the religious places are not reopened within two weeks, he will sit on a hunger strike.
Referring to this, Patil said, "If Anna Hazare starts any such protest in support of reopening the temples in the state, then the BJP will support the cause."
He further said that the government should reopen temples and other religious places with COVID-19 protocols. "At a time, only 10 people should be allowed inside the temple or any other religious place. Wearing of masks inside the temple should be made mandatory."
During the protest, BJP workers, under the leadership of Patil, forcibly entered Kasba Peth Ganpati temple in Pune and offered prayers.