Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 8 (ANI): In a controversial statement, Maharashtra BJP MLA Nitesh Rane on Sunday lashed out at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led government, over guidelines for the upcoming Ganpati festival alleging that Hindu religion was in danger under its rule.
"The situation in Mumbai is similar to that of West Bengal, where Durga Puja celebrations were restricted. It is difficult for Ganesh Utsav Mandals to celebrate the festival in accordance with new rules. We raised our concerns with the Governor," Rane told reporters.
"Some time ago, other religious festivals were celebrated, they did not face any inconvenience. Then why only Hindus? Hindu religion is in danger. We told the Governor to protect our festival, or else, Thackeray govt will gradually end the festival...celebrations," added the BJP MLA.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra government restricted the height of the idols being used in public celebrations to four feet while those in homes to two feet, in order to reduce fanfare.
Last year as well, the celebrations of the festival were subdued due to the rampant surge in COVID cases in the state.
Last year the famed Lalbaughcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal had decided not to hold the festivities in the wake of the pandemic. This year they said they will go ahead but will decrease the size of the idol to adhere to the state government's guidelines.
Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day festival that starts on the fourth day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month Bhadrapada, will start on September 10 this year.
It is celebrated with much fanfare in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra with lakhs of devotees converging into mandals to seek blessing from Lord Ganesh. (ANI)