Waiting for PM's order: Yediyurappa after announcing religious places' re-opening
Hours after he announced that religious places will be re-opened in Karnataka after May 31, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa took a U-turn of sorts, saying he will wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's directions. With the same request, he wrote to PM Modi too. Religious places like mosques, temples, and churches were closed in March, to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Just yesterday, Yediyurappa and Muzrai (Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments) department officials had a meeting at the CM's home office in Bengaluru. After the meeting, Karnataka Minister of Muzrai and Fisheries, Kota Srinivas Poojary said a standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued soon. Arguing that flights, trains have resumed too, Poojary said people want temples to be opened.
Over 34,000 temples of Karnataka come under the Muzrai department. "The plan is to allow all sevas (rituals) at the temples once they open, but depending on the situation, they may limit it to a few. However, the decision will be subject to Centre's guidelines on the next course of lockdown," Poojary said. Fairs and events won't be allowed, he hinted.
After the meeting, Yediyurappa launched an app, through which devotees will be able to book sevas, puja services, and give online donations to 52 temples under the Muzrai department. Kollur's Sri Mookambika Temple, Dakshina Kannada's Kukke Sri Subramanya Temple, Saundatti's Renuka Yellamma Temple are included in this list. While the state government has expressed its desire, it's waiting for an official confirmation from the Centre.
Speaking on the development, Yediyurappa said, "We have to get a lot of permissions before opening up, so let's wait and see. If we get permission, places of worship can open by June 1." Earlier this month, two Congress MLCs wrote to Yediyurappa seeking permission to allow namaz in mosques on Eid. The permission must be given with all precautionary measures, the letter said.