Who is the real Mumbaicha Raja

Two mandals - Chinchpoklicha Chintamani and Ganesh GalliĀ -- have been squabbling over the title; while the former claims that it has won an online contest for the coveted title, the latter claims it has legal right to the name

With Ganpati having departed from the city, it is now time for mandals to focus their energies on other worldly, somewhat petty matters. Two popular mandals in the city have been clamouring for the same title -- that of Mumbaicha Raja. While a popular website - mumbaicharaja. com -- has enthroned the idol at Chinchpoklicha Chintamani as the Raja of Mumbai, last year's winner, the Ganesh Galli mandal, insist that they have sole and exclusive right to the title, having registered their idol as Mumbaicha Raja last year.

Name Game: The Chinchpoklicha Chintamani (above) won the award
for the most popular idol in the city but organisers of Ganesh Galli beg to
differ. pics/datta kumbhar, Satyajit Desai

The website that conducts the annual contest, and its collaborator, the Malhar Pratishtha, however, claim that the conferment of the title is an annual event.

Mandals across the city vie for the prestigious title every year, and ranks are published on the website, where devotees log in and vote for their favourites.

Last year, the Ganesh Galli mandal ousted 112 other mandals and won the contest.

This year, the popular choice for the coveted title was the idol at Chinchpoklicha Chintamani.

The founder of the Mumbaicha Raja website, Kishore Sharma, said, "We have been organising this competition since 2008, with only the exception of the year 2009."

"Last year, we conferred the title upon the idol at Ganesh Galli, and also gave them a trophy. This year, the clear victor is Chinchpoklicha Chintamani. There is no scope for any ambiguity on this matter. Ganesh Galli mandal registered its name for the contest this year, but withdrew it later on," he added.

Legal right
Swapnil Parab, secretary of the Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav (Ganesh Galli) Mandal said, "We have registered ourselves under the title of Mumbaicha Raja. Our mandal's legal department has also sent a notice to the contest organisers. If we have legally acquired this title, how can anyone stake claim to it? We will always be known as Mumbaicha Raja, this is the title with which our idol is referred to."

Praneel Panchal, member of Chinchpoklicha Chintamani Mandal said, "We have won the title this year. Our idol will be referred to as Mumbaicha Raja till the end of next year's Ganeshotsav. This is what the contest
organisers told us. Our mandal is 92 years old, which makes it the oldest in the city. I feel extremely proud. We intend to put up a banner outside our mandal and flaunt the title during next."

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