13 Oct 2020: 'Shocked' by Maharashtra Governor's letter to CM, Pawar approaches Modi
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing shock over a recent letter written by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
In his letter on Monday, Koshyari had questioned Thackeray over keeping places of worship shut, and asked if the latter had "turned secular."
Here are more details.
Letter: Pawar brought Koshyari's 'intemperate' language to Modi's notice
Pawar brought PM Modi's attention to the "intemperate" language used by Koshyari in his letter, highlighting that the Preamble of India's Constitution includes the word 'secular'.
He said he felt important to share his "pain" at the "erosion of standards of conduct" by the Governor's office with Modi and the public.
Pawar's NCP is part of Maharashtra's ruling alliance, headed by Thackeray's Shiv Sena.
Quote: Here's an excerpt from Pawar's letter
Pawar wrote, "I must mention here that I agree the Hon. Governor can have his independent views and opinions on the issue. I also appreciate the prerogative of the Governor to convey his views to the Chief Minister. However, I am shocked and surprised to see the letter of the Governor released to the media and the kind of language used in the letter."
Context: What happened between the Maharashtra Governor and CM?
Taking issue over Thackeray's decision to keep places of worship shut, Koshyari had written in his letter, "You have been a strong votary of Hindutva...I wonder if you are receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again or have you turned 'secular' yourselves, a term you hated?"
Thackeray had acknowledged the letter with a stern retort.
Fact: Don't need your certification for Hindutva: Thackeray to Koshyari
Writing back in Marathi, Thackeray said he did not need Koshyari's certification for Hindutva. Thackeray said the reopening of temples "is not a question of secularism," asking the Governor if he had forgotten his own constitutional oath. "Isn't secularism a key component of the Constitution?"
Pawar’s remarks: Pawar underlined importance of keeping places of worship shut
In his letter, Pawar underlined that Mumbai's Siddhivinayak Temple, Pandharpur's Lord Vithhala Temple, Shirdi's Shree Saibaba Temple, among other religious places, draw huge crowds.
"In such places, it is impossible to maintain a safe distance between people."
Referring to Modi, Pawar wrote, "I am sure you too would have noticed the intemperate language that has been used (in Koshyari's letter)."
Fact: 'Tone and tenor must align with stature of constitutional post'
"I firmly believe that in a democracy, free exchange of views between the Hon. Governor and the Hon. Chief Minister must take place. However, the tone and tenor used must always be in keeping with the stature of the constitutional post occupied by the individuals."