Though the festival of Navratri is known to bring people together, it seems to have created a rift between two political parties at Airoli node. While the party workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) accused local Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator M K Madhvi for uprooting trees and demolishing a divider to aid revellers performing garba and dandiya, Madhvi rubbished the allegations claiming that it was a ploy to tarnish his image.
MNS worker Sameer Patil claimed that last week a few people came in a tempo and demolished the divider and uprooted the trees planted on it. “Celebrating festivals as the cost of environment is something we are totally against, so are the locals. When we asked a few people from the nearby areas to help us identify the culprits, they just vanished from the spot,” he Patil. A few other party workers said the spot where the divider was razed was later replaced with paver blocks to fool the residents that nothing had happened.
Madhvi’s Karan Mitra Mandal has been organising the Navratri festival at the same spot for the past several years. When contacted, he rubbished his involvement in the matter and claimed it was a ploy by his rivals to defame him. “We’ve never taken any donation to celebrate the festival or caused any harm to the environment. I’m not even remotely associated with the uprooting of the trees and demolition of the divider because it helped revellers enjoying dandiya and garba to stay on either side,” said Madhvi.
He, however, agreed to installing the paver blocks saying that locals would have been injured by stumbling over or into the pit that was left behind after the divider was demolished.