Earlier, former minister Arif Naseem Khan had written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asking him to call an urgent meeting to review the guidelines issued on the occasion of Bakri Eid, especially regarding the Qurbani of animals to be done symbolically.
Restriction imposed over the celebration of Eid-ul-Azha (Bakrid) by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has triggered a row and has angered Muslim leaders in Maharashtra. Recently the Chief Minister appealed to the people of the Muslim community in Maharashtra to celebrate Bakrid in a low-key and symbolic manner. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the State has urged that "Qurbani" (killing of animals) preferably be done symbolically, considering the lockdown norms and containment zone restrictions.
"While COVID-19 cases are spreading daily, we are making all attempts to prevent the same. In the last four months, festivals of all religions were celebrated in a low-key manner. Similarly, Bakrid should also be celebrated in a low-key manner, symbolic if possible, by following all measures," Thackeray said.
The statement has not gone well and angered the Muslim leaders in Maharashtra. Unhappy with State Government's guidelines on Bakrid, a section of Muslim leaders have rejected CM Uddhav Thackeray's suggestion for "symbolic" Qurbani. Bakrid falls on August 1, and according to Muslim leaders, animal sacrifice is mandatory for every Muslim.
Speaking in the guidelines of Maharashtra Government and appeal by Maha CM, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi said "Desh ka Samvidhan me hamesha amendment hota rehta hai lekin Islam ke samvidhan me amendment nahi hai…Qurbani symbolic nahi ho sakta) Indian Constitution can be amended, Islamic Constitution cannot. Qurbani can't be symbolic".
It has been said on several occasions that the remote control of Maharashtra government is in Sharad Pawar hands, not Uddhav Thackeray. Even in his recent interview, Uddhav had said that remote control of the government is in his hands, but the incidents narrate a different story.
After Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray refused to give a concession on Bakrid due to Corona, Muslim MLAs have reached to NCP Chief Sharad Pawar to speak. The Muslim MLAs of Mumbai reached Pawar's door demanding concession for the festival. SP MLA Abu Azmi says that Sharad Pawar is the chief organiser of the government in Maharashtra which Abu Azmi extends his support.
Now the question arises that when the Chief Minister has pronounced his decision and the guidelines have been issued, why did the Mulsim MLAs reach out to Sharad Pawar? Does this mean that they believe Sharad Pawar's decision will be final and it is not up to the Chief Minister to decide on the affairs of the state?
Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Abu Asim Azmi who is also part of Maha Aghadi Government threatened that his party will hold a protest in Mumbai against the guidelines by the State Government on regulations imposed over the upcoming Bakrid festival. As per Maharashtra Government guidelines, people have been asked to offer prayers at home and purchase sacrificial animals online or over the phone. The guidelines also called for the symbolic celebration of Bakri Eid.