New Delhi, Oct 14 : A day after a letter war hogged the limelight in Maharashtra, the Congress lashed out at Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari over his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “the Governor should understand that he is no more a member of a political party but a constitutional authority.”
Everybody has an ideology and people of different ideologies have held posts but after you take oath you are bound to go by the Constitution, Khera said.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh too attacked the Maharashtra Governor saying, “Hon Governor is also Governor of Goa where the CM is also from the BJP, a party which swears by the Constitution when taking oath of office but acts against the very Preamble of the Constitution!! RSS doesn’t believe in our Constitution,” he added.
“A similar situation is there even in Goa, then why has the Governor not issued such a letter to reopen the places of worship there,” Digvijaya Singh asked.
The controversy erupted after Governor Koshiyari wrote a letter to Chief Minister Thackeray, in which he demanded opening of temples, which was objected to by NCP Chief Sharad Pawar who wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi objecting to the tone of the letter.
Sharad Pawar said that he was in agreement with the Governor to have his independent views and opinions on the issue of reopening of religious places. “I also appreciate the prerogative of the Governor to convey his views to the CM. However, I am shocked and surprised to see the letter of the Governor and the kind of language used (in it),” Pawar told Modi, even as the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi partners Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress stood rock-solid behind Thackeray.
“In the very Preamble of our Constitution, the word ‘Secular’ is added that equates and shields all religions, and hence (the Chair) of the Chief Minister must uphold such tenets of the Constitution,” Pawar pointed out.
He added that the CM was left with no option but to release his reply to the Governor.
“I thought I must share my pain with you and the public at the erosion of standards of conduct of the high Constitutional office of the Hon. Governor,” said Pawar.
In the letter, making a case for permitting people to worship in temples — closed since the lockdown was clamped on March 23, Governor Koshyari had asked a pointed question to Thackeray: “You have been a strong votary of Hindutva… Have you turned ‘secular’ yourself, the term which you hated?”
Congress state President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the Governor’s language which was against the Constitution would it be acceptable to the President of India.
Koshyari pointed out how Thackeray had “publicly espoused” his devotion to Lord Ram by visiting Ayodhya after taking charge as CM and later performed pooja at Pandharpur’s famous Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini Temple on Ashadhi Ekadashi, July 1.