The Maharashtra government may have to take a stand against the high court’s decision not to allow setting up of pandals for Ganpati, Dahi handi and Navratri in Mumbai.
The courts contention is that the pandals encroach on footpaths and create noise above the acceptable decibel levels.
On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena opposed the court’s decision, saying it went against the citizens’ right to practise their faith.
While the Sena made scathing remarks through an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Mumbai BJP unit set up a committee, comprising representatives of mandals, and decided to intervene in the court matter.
“Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has agreed to meet the BJP committee and will consider their side while putting forward the state government’s representation in court,” said Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar.
“For now, these three festivals have been mentioned. Later, festivals of other religions will be included. A middle path can be found to ensure that law and order is maintained during celebration,” said Shelar.
Meanwhile, the Sena editorial said the decision hurt the sentiments of Hindus, as its immediate impact will be on the upcoming Ganpati festival.
“After hearing the judgment, one may be forced to think that the verdict has come from a court in Pakistan,” it said. The views expressed in Saamana are seen as those of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Coming down heavily on noise activists, the editorial claimed the people of the city and state never made such complaints. It further went on to say that those who could not bear the noise “should go to Lahore or Islamabad”.
The editorial also dared officials to take action against the loud speakers used in Bhendi Bazaar, or mosques in Dadar and Mahim.