Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis in Saturday inaugurated the 125th year celebrations of the Ganesh festival at a grand ceremony held at the historic Shaniwarwada in Pune. The BJP-ruled Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has earmarked Rs 2 crore for the quasquicentennial celebrations.
During the inauguration, Fadnavis launched the logo of 125th anniversary of the festival and felicitated Ganesh mandals in the city, that too have completed 125 years of celebrating the festival on a public platform. “Ganeshotsav is not only a religious, but a social festival. Through it, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak mobilised people against the British rule,” Fadanvis said while delivering his speech at the inauguration.
The office-bearers of Srimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganapati Trust, said to be among the first three Ganesh mandals, too were felicitated by Fadnavis during the event.
A row has erupted after the Srimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganapati Trust, said to be among the first three Ganesh mandals, claimed that it was not Tilak, but Bhausaheb Laxman Jawale alias Bhau Rangari who organised the festival in a public format for the first time in 1892.
The trust has also claimed that the upcoming Ganapati season (slated next month) was not the 125th, but the 126th year of the organisation of the festival with mass participation.
Fadanvis, while inaugurating the celebrations, also tried his hands at dhol-tasha.