2 Sena camps spar over installation of 21-foot Ganapati in Kolhapur city

  • | Friday | 22nd September, 2023

Kolhapur: The split in the Shiv Sena has not spared even the Ganeshotsav in Kolhapur.The members of the citys famous Chhatrapati Shivaji Chowk Sanyukt Mitra Mandal are now divided in two groups — one that backs Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the other that favours Uddhav Thackerays Shiv Sena (UBT). Both groups have claimed the right to install the 21-foot Ganapati idol at the pandal at Shivaji Chowk in Kolhapur.Fault lines had developed in the mandal even before the formal split in Shiv Sena. This year, Raju Nagvekar, a former head of the Ganesh mandal, filed a case in high court and a decision is pending.To resolve the immediate conflict, Kolhapur citys deputy superintendent Ajit Tike conducted a meeting on September 18. In the meeting, the police denied permission to both the groups and asked the original founder members of the mandal to install a small Utsav murti. It should be noted that the Ganesh mandal was set up in 1996 by autorickshaw drivers at Shivaji Chowk. Both the Shiv Sena and UBT camp members of the mandal agreed to abide by the decision in front of the senior police officials who also told them to not politicise the festival.However, early on Wednesday, around 2am, Shiv Sena members, represented by state planning commission head Rajesh Kshirsagar, silently installed a 21-foot Ganapati idol inside the pandal. This angered the Thackeray group represented by UBT district president Sanjay Pawar and city head Ravikiran Ingawle. They then decided to install their idol after taking out a procession on Thursday.As a result, tension prevailed in the city. There was heavy deployment of police personnel at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Chowk and Bindu Chowk to prevent clashes between the two groups. Rapid Action Force, State Reserve Batallion personnel were deployed and tear gas cartridges were kept ready for emergency use. The police personnel carefully handled the situation. They stopped the Ganesh palanquin procession of the Thackeray camp at Bindu Chowk. After about 3 hours, they were asked to install a small idol at a different mandap at Chhatrapati Shivaji Chowk.Ingawle said: When everything was agreed upon at the meeting with the police, then why was the 21-foot idol installed at midnight? Who gave permission for that? Rajesh Kshirsagar is applying pressure on the police force. People of Kolhapur will teach him a lesson in the upcoming election.Kshirsagar, after having darshan of the Ganesh idol, said, We had taken permission of the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation and city traffic branch. The opposition party should not politicise this matter. Those who are intentionally disturbing the city law and order situation should be arrested. Chief minister Eknath Shinde, deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and guardian minister Deepak Kesarkar are keeping a close watch on this situation.

If You Like This Story, Support NYOOOZ



Your support to NYOOOZ will help us to continue create and publish news for and from smaller cities, which also need equal voice as much as citizens living in bigger cities have through mainstream media organizations.

Stay updated with all the Latest Kolhapur headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Related Articles