High drama as Brahmin outfit installs Dadoji Konddeo’s photo at PMC

‘Apathy’ shown by civic body in reinstalling the statue was cited as the reason. Konddeo was a 17th century administrator at the Kondana fort of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji.

pune Updated: Mar 08, 2018 16:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Maharashtra,Dadoji Konddeo
Members of the Brahman Mahasangh Ambhaji Brigade (L) argue after placing the photo of Dadoji Kondadev in PMC premises in Pune.(HT PHOTO )

The controversy over Dadoji Konddeo statue engulfed Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) once again after Maratha outfits came out in opposition to the installation of a photo of the historical figure on PMC premises by a Brahmin group for a day on his death anniversary. Akhil Bhartiya Brahman Mahasangh, on Wednesday morning, brought a photo of Konddeo, a 17th century administrator at the Kondana fort of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, to protest against the ‘apathy’ shown by PMC in reinstalling his statue, which was removed from Lal Mahal in 2011.

As the news of Konddeo’s photo installed on PMC premises spread, activists of Sambhaji Brigade, a Maratha outfit, reached the civic body. Following the verbal argument between activists of Brigade and Brahmin Mahasangh, the photo was later removed.

The original controversy was over Konddeo’s statue, which once stood at Lal Mahal, showing a part of a sculpture depicting a teenaged Chhatrapati Shivaji along with mother Jijau tilling the land with a golden plough, after Maratha outfits objected to it claiming it to be a ‘historical fallacy’. After protests from Sambhaji Brigade, the civic body had removed the statue in 2011. This decision irked the BJP-sena, which vandalised the civic body building and called for a Pune bandh.

Anand Dave, Pune district president for Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Mahasangh (ABBM), said that the Konddeo photo was brought to PMC in protest of the civic body’s lethargy in reinstalling the statue removed in 2011 from Lal Mahal.

“Our intension is not to create a controversy but to highlight the apathy shown by PMC despite passing a resolution earlier,” said Dave. Yogesh Gogawale, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Pune unit chief, however, said that his party had never assured of the reinstallation of the statue, though it may have been the stand taken by few party leaders.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 14:26 IST