A Step Towards Hindutva: Shiv Sena Welcomes Prakash Ambedkar in Vithoba Temple

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Mumbai, September 1, 2020: The Shiv Sena has welcomed Dr Prakash Ambedkar’s decision to enter the famous Vithoba temple in Pandharpur on Tuesday while demanding its re-opening. This act has been termed as his a step towards Hindutva, welcoming and calling it a new ‘Dindi Yatra’, a journey of warkaris.

Ambedkar also took Darshan of Namdev Payri (step of Saint Namdev) during his visit to the temple along with 15 other associates. The Shiv Sena through its mouthpiece Saamna has taken a dig at Ambedkar saying that magic took place after Ambedkar took Darshan of Namdev Payri.

Ambedkar who heads Bahujan Vikas Aghadi and is the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, on Monday staged a massive protest march in the temple town of Pandharpur seeking reopening of temples and religious places of worship in Maharashtra. He urged the people to come out of the fear that gathering in religious places can lead to the spread of COVID 19.

Ambedkar had said, “We have come here to break the law and show that the fears of Coronavirus spreading through the crowd is wrong. We want to show that COVID 19 does not contract or spread by reopening and worshipping in temples”.

Since Ambedkar was firm on his decision, the state government and the administration allowed him and some of his followers to take darshan inside the temple. He thanked Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and said that the CM has promised that all religious places of worship will be reopened soon.

He further said, “It is the faith and the emotions of the people who want to open the places of worship. I have appealed for physical distancing. The state government must change its stand on the issue of reopening places of religious worship owing to the sentiment of the people.

The district administration and the police had tightened security in and around the Vithoba temple in Pandharpur and barricaded the area at the exit and entry points.

Ambedkar said, “The CM has sought 10 days to decide with an elaborate plan to reopen places of worship with restrictions. If they fail to do so, then I will be here in Pandharpur to protest against the government again.”

Meanwhile, the BJP has welcomed Dr Ambedkar’s decision to protest against the government seeking reopening of religious places of worship. Leader of Opposition in State Legislative Assembly MLC Praveen Darekar said, “The state government must step out of Matoshree and find out what is happening on the ground. The government has failed in handling COVID 19 crisis in Maharashtra. The religious places of worship in the state must be reopened at the earliest”.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “The opposition must atleast ensure that they keep the health scenario of the public in mind before taking up agitations. The temples are locked because of COVID 19 and like all other services will be opened up gradually. Even we are not happy that the temples are shut for a long time.”