Pune, Aug 31 (PTI) Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi president Prakash Ambedkar on Monday claimed he has received information from the Maharashtra chief minister that places of worship will be reopened 'soon' in the state, after the standard operating procedures are chalked out for it.
Ambedkar also claimed that 15 people, including him and members of a Warkari outfit, were given permission to enter the Lord Vitthal temple in Pandharpur town of Solapur on Monday after their protest over the demand for reopening places of worship.
'I have received information from Chief Minister that temples, mosques, Buddha Vihars, Jain temples will be opened in the state soon and guidelines will be readied. It will take at least 8 to 10 days to make the guidelines and after that temples will be reopened,' he said in a tweet.
He further tweeted that the state government should take note that if the promise of reopening the religious institutions is not kept, they will again come back to Pandharpur.
Earlier, after entering the temple in Pandhapur, Ambedkar said, 'We had 'darshan' (of the deity) today. Our message that we will not move from Pandharpur reached the chief minister and chief secretary and later 15 people were given permission to enter the temple.' Ambedkar said he is thankful to Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray that the sentiments of devotees and people were respected by the state government.
Earlier in the day, scores of members of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and Warkaris, defying the social distancing norms, launched a protest demanding reopening of Lord Vitthal's temple in Pandharpur.
During their agitation near the temple, which has been shut due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ambedkar said they were waiting for a response from the district collector over the demand and added that 'I am here to break rules,' prompting the Shiv Sena and the Congress to hit out at him.
The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) is supporting the demand of the Vishwa Warkari Sena, an outfit of devotees of Lord Vitthal, which had given a memorandum to the Solapur district administration seeking that all temples be reopened in Maharashtra. PTI SPK GK GK