Congress urges CM to ban Sambhaji Bhide's Goa visit to arrest communal tensions

Panaji, Aug 22 (IANS): The Congress wrote to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, requesting him to ban visit of Maharashtra's Hindutva activist, Sambhaji Bhide, who is known for his controversial and provoking speeches, in the coastal state on August 24.

Vijay Bhike, General Secretary of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, in a letter to the CM, has said that presently religious tensions are witnessed in the state and hence Sambhaji Bhide should be restrained from entering the state.

As per sources, Bhide will deliver a talk on the topic “Contribution of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in the protection of Hindu religion, its mutts and temples, and restoration of temples destroyed during the Portuguese regime.”

“It is learnt that Sambhaji Bhide, who is known for his controversial and provoking speeches, is invited to Goa on August 24 to address a gathering at Davorlim-Margao in South Goa. Presently communal situations are taking place due to various religious issues, be it desecration of the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or placing of goddess idol in Church premises. In this backdrop, it would be wise to make an attempt to restore the peace and harmony in the state,” the letter read.

“Allowing a person like Sambhaji Bhide to address a gathering would only lead to more communal tension and disturb the communal peace and tranquility in the state. There is also a very high possibility of eruption of communal riots which may lead to aggravating the prevailing communal tension and will result in irreparable and irreversible loss, as Sambhaji Bhide is known for his provoking speeches and in the present background it appears to be that he is coming here with intentions to create disharmony,” it further said.

The letter also states that “There are a number of cases filed against him in different parts of Maharashtra for making provocative statements against national leaders which you can verify.”

"We hereby bring to your notice about the consequence of Sambhaji Bhide’s visit to Goa and the coincidence is that the President of India is also visiting the state at the same time."

“It is in the interest of the state to ban him from visiting Goa and maintain peace and harmony which is in your good hands. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Mr. Pramod Muthalik is banned from entering Goa for similar behaviour which was also endorsed by the Hon’ble High Court directive in this regard,” Vijay Bhike further said in the letter.

“If you permit him to visit Goa and if communal violence erupts, then only you will be held responsible for the same,” Congress leader said.



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Title: Congress urges CM to ban Sambhaji Bhide's Goa visit to arrest communal tensions

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