The Samajwadi Party and the Congress in Uttar Pradesh have asked the Yogi Adityanath government to revoke the ban on Durga Puja pandals due to the pandemic. Senior Samajwadi leader and leader of opposition in the state Assembly, Ram Govind Chaudhary, that the ban on Durga Puja pandals was a "direct attack on the people's fundamental right to freedom of religion."
"The decision of the state government to not allow Puja pandals is a violation of law. The government should ensure social distancing and other safety protocols during the events. If the state government can allow Ram Lila to be held with a specified number of people, there is no reason why Durga Puja pandals cannot be allowed," he said.
The Congress, meanwhile, has also lashed out at the UP government for not allowing Durga Puja pandals in the state.
Congress' newly-appointed Bengal in-charge, Jitin Prasada, said, "Massive political rallies can be allowed in Madhya Pradesh but the same BJP government in UP will not allow the Bengali community to celebrate Durga Puja with restrictions. Only shows that for the BJP faith is a matter of convenience while the only thing that matters to them is politics."
The Congress leader said that the BJP cannot be selective when it comes to freedom of religion and they cannot use the pandemic as excuse to differentiate between people.
The UP government has issued guidelines regarding Durga Puja and has asked the worshippers to do worship at home but has directed authorities that Ram Lila should be allowed with only with 100 people due to Covid-19 protocols and to curb the spread of the virus.