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CM Uddhav Thackeray, Guv BS Koshyari exchange letters on meaning of secularism

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has informed Governor BS Koshyari that a decision on reopening places of religious worship will be taken after careful consideration of the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Responding to a letter by Koshyari a day earlier, Thackeray on Tuesday wrote to the Governor, saying the state government will consider his request to reopen these places.

In his letter, Koshyari had mentioned that he has received three representations from delegations demanding that places of religious worship be reopened.

In response, Thackeray pointed out that it was a coincidence that all the three letters Koshyari mentioned were from BJP office-bearers and supporters.

An RSS veteran, Koshyari has been BJP’s vice-president and first president of that party’s unit in Uttarakhand, where he also served as Chief Minister.

In the letter to the Chief Minister, Koshyari had asked, “Have you suddenly turned secular?”

Responding to this question, Thackeray wondered if to Koshyari Hindutva meant merely reopening places of religious worship and if not opening them was to him being secular.

“Isn’t secularism a key component of the Constitution, by which you swore while taking oath as the state Governor,” Thackeray said.

“While considering the sentiments and beliefs of the people, it is also important to take care of their lives and it is wrong to impose and lift lockdown suddenly,” he said in the letter.