While the Congress leaders tried to play down this change publicly, they privately accepted that the decision on celebrating Ganesha festival has been communicated to all the district chiefs.
However, Congress spokesperson Sangeeta Sharma said, "This shouldn’t be seen as something new. After all, it was none other than the great Balgangadhar Tilak who had started Ganeshotsava on a large scale."
Another Congress leader said, "Earlier too, a figurine of Lord Ganesha was installed in a room in the PCC office."
He added, "Now, a big idol will be installed at the PCC office in Bhopal and at all its offices."
Talking to HT, state Congress chief spokesperson KK Mishra said, "The Congress is a secular party and we respect all faiths. All festivals, like Holi, Diwali and Dussehra are celebrated and ‘iftaars’ are hosted during Ramzan."
"It is our tradition and we will celebrate festivals of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and all other major faiths. We will celebrate festivals of all communities in future too," he said.