We will celebrate Ganesh Utsav, our pandal will be on the road irrespective of permission: Uddhav Thackeray

We will celebrate Ganesh Utsav, our pandal will be on the road irrespective of permission: Uddhav Thackeray
Thackeray said any attempt to disrupt the Hindu festival would amount to ‘Hindu droh’

Taking strong opposition to the restrictions imposed on mandals ahead of the upcoming Ganesh Utsav, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that the festival will be celebrated in Mumbai “no matter what”.

He added that disrupting the way the festival is celebrated would amount to ‘Hindu droh’.

“When will Ram temple be constructed, only Ram knows but our Ganesh Utsav will surely take place. If they disrupt a Hindu festival, then it would be Hindu droh,” Thackeray said.

“Whether they rule in our favour or not, there will be Ganesh Utsav celebrations in Mumbai. Our pandal will be on the road,” he added.

The Sena president’s comments come in the backdrop of several reports claiming that the BMC, which ironically is ruled by the Thackeray-led party, is denying mandals permissions for erecting mandaps this year.

“There is Hindutva government both at Centre and in the state, then why so many changes in law being brought in,” the Sena chief asked.

Thackeray also questioned the lack of action against loudspeakers put up on masjids. “They don’t have the courage to remove the speakers put by Muslims,” he said.

Thackeray launched several attacks on the government and accused it of playing “Hindu-Muslim” politics when elections approach.

“I think once again there will be riots between Hindus and Muslims,” he said.

Following the outrage by several organisers, a Shiv Sena delegation met BMC chief Ajoy Mehta earlier this week and urged him to resolve problems pertaining to granting permissions at the earliest.

BMC has mandated that mandals keep adequate space for emergency vehicles, mark entry/exit points, install fire-fighting equipment and repair any damage to roads in addition to obtaining a NOC from the fire department and the traffic police.

While civic officials feel that the rules are necessary to ensure safety, the organisers feel that the process is slow and cumbersome, especially since the festival is just a month away.

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