New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: The Mumbai police on Tuesday (August 31) arrived at BJP MLA Ram Kadam's house in Mumbai's Khar to prevent him from celebrating the banned Dahi Handi festival in Maharashtra. The state government has banned the Janmashtami and Dahi Handi celebrations due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra.

Criticizing the state government's move Kadam said "We demand that Thackeray government should allow us to celebrate Dahi Handi as per tradition. We will ensure COVID protocols are in place. This is a Hindu festival and we will celebrate it at any cost. I will go to the Ghatkopar police station to request the police the same. If required, I am ready to talk to state home minister Dilip Walse-Patil for the permission."

He further added "We are even ready to celebrate Dahi Handi with five Govindas, who are fully vaccinated," and alleged "Shiv Sena has become anti-Hindu party after it allied with the Congress."

The ban on Dahi Handi celebration in Maharashtra amid COVID has stirred a political war of words between BJP and Shiv Sena. A day earlier, BJP MLA and chief in Maharasthra Assembly, Ashish Shelar launched a scathing attack on the opposition saying “Is this government taking orders from Taliban? Why are all restrictions being enforced on Hindu festivals in Maharashtra?”. "Now, if restrictions are imposed in India, are we suppose to go to Pakistan and celebrate Dahi Handi,’” he added.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) also declared that they will go ahead with their Dahi Handi plans as scheduled along with the party’s Thane Palghar district president Avinash Jadhav. “If the BJP can hold massive rallies, Shiv Sena can stage protests, why can’t our youth celebrate Janmashtami?” said Jadhav.

Meanwhile, the police have detained several MNS activists, including former MLA Bala Nandgaonkar, in Mumbai for defying the ban on Dahi Handi celebrations. The state government has given strict orders to take punitive action against anyone who is found violating the rules.

Maharashtra government has issued a number of guidelines, including the reduction of the height of Lord Ganesha idols ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, starting September 10. The height of Ganesh idols will be capped at four feet for public mandals and two feet for celebrations at home. No crowding for ‘aarti’ will be allowed and so far, the government has not given a nod for processions.

(With inputs from ANI)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha