Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ram Kadam has been detained by the police in Mumbai ahead of the saffron party's protest across the state demanding reopening of temples. Amid reports that BJP workers could gather outside the famous Siddhivinayak temple, a heavy police contingent has been deployed outside the temple to avert any untoward incident.
In Nagpur as well, BJP workers gathered in large numbers and staged protests in front of temples. In Pune, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil joined the protest and lashed out at the MVA government comprising the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP.
The BJP has been criticising the state government for not opening the temples amid the pandemic. The party leaders are alleging that the government can reopen restaurants and bars despite the contagion, but not temples.
Meanwhile, social activist Anna Hazare has also questioned the government's stand to not reopen temples in the state and 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.
"Why is the state government not opening temples? What danger does the state government see in opening temples for people? If COVID-19 is the reason, then there are big queues outside liquor shops," Hazare, 84, 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.