As BJP books Jambori Maidan, Sena moves its celebration to Ganpatrao Kadam Marg; says residents had requested shifting the event
File photo of a Dahi Handi celebration
With the BJP claiming Jambori Maidan in Worli, which is known for one of the most prominent Dahi Handi celebrations, the Shiv Sena has shifted its festivities to Worli Naka. Sena leaders said they did not opt for Jambori, where Sena leader Sachin Ahir used to organise the event earlier, following requests from locals citing close proximity of a children’s hospital. The BJP has announced a prize of Rs 1,11,111 for the mandal who would break the handi while the Sena has set the prize money for all at Rs 3-R4 lakh.
Preparations on for the Dahi Handi event to be organised by BJP at Jambori Maidan, Worli, on Wednesday. Pic/Ashish Raje
Ahir, who is now a Sena MLC, stopped organising the festival after the pandemic hit. But despite Sena having three MLAs and six corporators from Worli, party leaders did not come forward to hold the event. Meanwhile, a local leader of the BJP booked the ground and got all required permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, police and public works department.
Sena MLA Sunil Shinde said, “We purposely did not organise the festival at Jambori Maidan after getting requests from locals. There is a children’s hospital nearby. Even the maidan has been revamped with crores of rupees. So we shifted our venue to Worli Naka.” Assuring that the festival will not pose any issues to traffic movement or commuters taking Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Shinde said that the party has received all necessary permissions for the same and preparations for the stage and other infra will start on Thursday.
Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray said, “Everyone likes Worli, but one shouldn’t politicise festivals.” Santosh Pande, organiser of Jambori Maidan Dahi Handi, said, “Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis will come to break ‘Corruption Handi’ at 2 pm. We will give R1,11,111 to the winner at the end while other mandals will get a salami (token amount).” BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar, referring to the Jambori event, said, “Yeh toh sirf jhanki hain (this is just the beginning),” indicating that the party may start holding the festival across the city.
Prize money by BJP