Seeking to end the controversy over purchase of idols worth Rs 25 lakh, Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Shakuntala Darade denied that she had called corporators “idol thieves”. “I have never said what has been attributed to me. Why should I call corporators names ?” Darade said after a controversy erupted over her reported remarks that if corporators are not presented idols, they indulge in stealing them.
The controversy erupted last Tuesday when the Sant Tukaram palkhi arrived at Akurdi for its traditional sojourn. The PCMC had bought as many as 650 idols of Vithal-Rukmini to be presented to ‘dindi’ groups during the procession.
However, 300 additional idols worth Rs 12 lakh were requisitioned by the officials after the mayor said that idols would fall short. She reportedly said that idols have to be gifted to corporators, otherwise they would steal them. After corporators led by Sulbha Ubale objected to the insinuations, the mayor told this paper that she was misquoted. “Certain wrong words were put in my mouth which I had never said,” Darade said.