Nagpur/ New Delhi: Drawing a sharp contrast over its stand on reopening of public spaces, the BJP in Maharashtra staged protests today against the Maha Vikas Agadi government’s decision to not reopen temples in the state while the Delhi BJP on Saturday had criticised the Aam Aadmi Party government for reopening schools in the national capital, calling the move “hollow” and accusing it of not caring for student’s safety.
Several workers and leaders of the opposition BJP staged protests on Monday in several cities in Maharashtra against the state government’s decision to not reopen temples for now, which remain shut due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The protests were held in Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Nashik, Nagpur, Pandharpur, Aurangabad and other places where agitators rang bells and blew conches.
Maharashtra Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant criticised the BJP for “playing with the lives of devotees” and said they “don’t care for the Central government’s directives.”
Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter to all chief secretaries on Saturday said, “State governments/UT administrations are further advised to take suitable measures to avoid large gatherings during the coming [festive] season and if required, impose local restrictions with a view to curb such large gatherings.”
In Delhi, BJP chief Adesh Gupta called the Arvind Kejriwal government’s decision of reopening schools “hollow” on Saturday, adding that Education Minister Manish Sisodia himself was “unclear” about the preparations of schools in this regard.
Following a decline in coronavirus cases, the AAP government had announced on Friday that schools for Classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from September 1.
Gupta accused the state government of not owning the responsibility of “life, health and safety” of the students.
The schools in Delhi were shut in March last year ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.
Maharashtra on Sunday reported 4,666 new cases against 3,301 patients being discharged. The active case tally rose to 52,844 in the state.
Meanwhile, Delhi on Monday reported one Covid death and 20 new Covid-19 cases, while the positivity rate stood at 0.04 per cent.