Goa is all set for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival on September 5 which will mark the commencement of the 10-day celebration. Political parties are also likely to woo the voters in the state where polls are due next year, in the backdrop of the festival which is marked by re-union of families, though the formal election campaigning will take a backseat till September 15. The markets in the state, with 70 per cent Hindu population, are abuzz with people rushing for the last minute purchases required for the festival.
Make-shift stalls have been set up in places like Panaji, Margao, Mapusa, Ponda and Vasco for selling firecrackers, which are burnt during the festival in Goa.
“All the buses leaving from Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune are running full. It becomes difficult to even get a ticket in the buses which have increased their fares. Though the fares are high, there is no dearth of the takers,” P V Unnikrishan, a Chennai-based scientist who arrived in Goa to join his family for Ganesh Chaturthi festivities, told PTI.
The Konkan Railway Corporation Limited is also running special trains connecting Goa to Mumbai, where the festival is celebrated with equal fervour. The rush is also seen at the state’s Dabolim airport. The Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav organised across all major cities, towns and villages further adds to the festive mood. After two days of celebrations, the organisers of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav will hold various entertainment programmes.
Goa’s prominent stage artist Rajdeep Naik is busy for next two days with his production company, planning 40 shows of his six different drama productions in Konkani.
“For two days I will be with the family celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. After that I have a tight schedule, all the six dramas are booked across the state … we will be performing 40 shows,” he said.
The current Medium of Instruction (MOI) issue also forms the backdrop of his drama. Naik’s Konkani drama “Firangi Fatas”, which was first introduced when the MOI issue started a few years back, has been re-introduced with some additions as “Partun Firangi Fatas”, which will be staged across the state during the festival. The drama castigates the proponents of education in English and supports regional languages as MOI in elementary education.
The political parties have taken a break from campaigning for the state polls.
“The formal campaigning has stopped. But the MLAs and the party leaders on their own would be visiting families. They have always been busy meeting people when there are occasions,” BJP Goa General Secretary Sadanand Tanawade said. Some prominent politicians like BJP’s Nilesh Cabral and former state Home Minister and Congress leader Ravi Naik have distributed goodies to the people.
“I have not distributed them because of elections. I have been always distributing it every year since last eight years,” Cabral said. Congress Goa spokesman Trajano D’Mello said the party has stopped its door-to-door campaign till end of this month.
“You cannot have campaigning in the midst of the festive season,” he said.