Member of Parliament from Kalyan, Dr Shrikant Shinde, emphatically cancelled his annual garba and dandiya event in Dombivli in the wake of the tragic Elphinstone Road station stampede on Friday, but ended up at another such event in Thane the same day. Shinde claims he only attended the event and didn't indulge in the celebrations.
Dr Shrikant Shinde (centre, in white kurta) at the Thane event
Shinde, who belongs to the Shiv Sena, circulated a WhatsApp message stating that the Raas Rang 2017 had been cancelled for the night due to the Elphinstone stampede, which took the lives of 23 people. Raas Rang is touted as Dombivli's biggest dandiya festival and is held at the DNC ground in Dombivli East.
The message, also received by mid-day, said the programme would wind up after the usual aarti at 7 pm, followed by a prayer for the deceased. Shinde appealed to the masses to come together and support the families of those who have lost their lives in the incident.
While he cancelled his own event, Shinde was later seen at the Raas Rang Navratri, organised at the Modella Mill Compound in Thane West, along with fellow MP Rajan Vichare and a few Shiv Sena corporators.
'Look at the big picture'
Shinde, however, claimed he was not there to take part in the celebrations, and only attended it because he was invited.
"Why aren't you looking at the big picture, where I have completely cancelled a dandiya event in Dombivli? I am a people's representative and hundreds of people invite me for celebrations; this was just one of them. I attended it as I couldn't refuse the invite. I just attended the event and didn't join the celebration," he said.
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Awhad pokes dandiya at Somaiya
NCP MLA Dr Jitendra Awhad decided to take potshots at BJP MP Kirit Somaiya for enjoying at a garba-dandiya event on the day of the Elphinstone Road tragedy.
Dr Jitendra Awhad, NCP MLA and Kirit Somaiya, BJP MP
He tweeted pictures and videos of Somaiya dancing at the event, calling him "heartless" for indulging in the same "when Mumbai was in [a] sad mood". mid-day tried contacting Somaiya for comment, but despite repeated attempts, he remained unavailable.
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