wrote to PM Modi on Tuesday saying he was “shocked and surprised” by the “intemperate language” used by governor
Bhagat Singh Koshyari
in his letter to
CM Uddhav Thackeray
on reopening places of worship.
“I have not discussed this matter either with the governor nor with Uddhav Thackeray. However, I felt that I must share my pain with you and the public at the erosion of standards of conduct by the high constitutional office of the governor,” Pawar said in his letter to Modi.
Referring to Koshyari’s mention of Hindutva and his question to Uddhav if he was “receiving divine premonition” and had “suddenly turned secular”, Pawar said that in the very preamble of the Constitution, the word secular had been added “that equates and shields all religions and hence the chair of the CM must uphold such tenets of the Constitution”.
“Unfortunately,” he stated, “the governor’s letter to the CM invokes the connotation as if written to the leader of a political party. I firmly believed that in a democracy, free exchange of views between the governor and the CM 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. Looking at the turn of events, the CM was in fact left with no option but to release his reply to the governor to the media. I fully endorse the decision,” Pawar said.
On the governor’s plea on reopening of religious places, Pawar said he agreed that Koshyari could have independent views on the issue, and he appreciated his prerogative to convey them to the CM. But he said he was shocked to see the governor’s letter released to the media and the kind of language used in the letter.
Pawar, at the same time, defended the CM’s decision not to open places of worship as, in view of crowds at prominent places of worship, it is impossible to maintain a safe distance between people. “Keeping this in view, the state government had decided to stagger the decision regarding opening of places of worship. It is planning a campaign to make people aware of the importance of do gaj ki doori,” Pawar said.