Threats won’t work in democracy, Maharashtra Deputy CM tells MNS chief

MNS stand has affected temples too, say Congress, Shiv Sena

May 05, 2022 07:47 pm | Updated 07:47 pm IST - Mumbai

Ajit Pawar

Ajit Pawar | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Ultimatums will not be entertained in a democracy run as per law, said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday, replying to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s warning that unless all loudspeakers from mosques are removed, the agitation by his party workers will not stop.

“The government runs as per the law. This dictatorship of giving ultimatums will not work here. You can issue such threats inside your house. But we will work as permissible by the law,” said Mr. Pawar at a press conference on Thursday.

Mr. Pawar said that such warning statements shouldn’t be made in a democracy. “Whatever be the decision, it will be applicable to all. Everybody must take care to ensure that the law and order situation in the State is not affected. All religious places shouldn’t cross the decibel limit and those who have not taken permission should take it from the authorities,” he said.

While Mr. Pawar reminded that rural parts of the State were hosting several Hindu religious programmes where loudspeakers were being used and those too suffered due to this agitation around loudspeakers, the Congress too slammed the MNS for ruining prayer meets at Hindu temples.

“There are a total of 2,404 temples and 1,144 mosques in Mumbai. Till yesterday [May 4] only 20 of these temples and 922 mosques had permissions. Applications of five temples and 15 mosques are pending. If we listen to the MNS, along with these mosques, 2,400 temples too will not be able to use loudspeakers. Churches, gurudwaras and Buddhist temples won’t be able to use them,” said Maharashtra Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant. He said that in Trimbakeshwar and Shirdi, kakad aarti (early morning prayer) had stopped. “Whose sin is this?” the Congress leader asked.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday raised the impact of the loudspeaker issue on temples and termed the agitation by the MNS a “black day for Hindus”.

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