Dahi Handi, which is part of the Janmashtami festival, was celebrated with great fervour across the state on Friday after the Covid-19 pandemic-induced gap of two years.
While many politicians organised Dahi Handi events, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray attended a series of events organised in Mumbai and Thane.
Till Friday evening, 111 Govindas (young participants who make human pyramids to reach earthen pots containing buttermilk suspended mid-air, and break them) were injured. While 11 were being treated at hospitals, the rest have been discharged.
The BJP organised 370 Dahi Handi events in a show of strength ahead of the BMC elections.
On the other hand, the Uddhav Thackeray faction the Shiv Sena organised Nishta Dahi Handi at the junction of Shiv Sena Bhavan near Shivaji Park.
The move comes less than a week of the BJP taking over Worli’s Jamboree Maidan to celebrate Dahi Handi on a large scale.
Shiv Sena had celebrated the festival at the spot until 2019. Worli in south Mumbai is the constituency of Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray.
Besides organising 370 Dahi Handi programmes, BJP has approached 355 mandals in Mumbai and insured 20,000 Govindas for Rs 10 lakh. This is the first time that BJP is organising the events on such a large scale in the city, which has been traditionally associated with the Shiv Sena.
Two Dahi Handi events were the flashpoint in Thane – one organised by the CM’s son and MP Shrikant Shinde at Tembhi Naka and another by MP Rajan Vichare, a Uddhav Thackeray loyalist, at Jambhali Naka.
The Tembhi Naka Dahi Handi was started by late Shiv Sena strongman Aanand Dighe. After his demise, Eknath Shinde had continued the tradition. This year, his son organised the event. Vichare’s Dahi Handi event was held at Jambhali Naka, located at a distance of a few minutes from Tembhi Naka.
Major organisers of Dahi Handi events like the Sanskriti Yuva Pratishantan Mandal – organised by MLA Pratap Sarnaik’s son Purvesh – saw registration by over 200 mandals. The mandal forming a 10-tier pyramid was promised a cash prize of Rs 21 lakh.
In Thane and Palghar, the MNS announced Rs 11 lakh for the mandal that would break the Dahi Handi.
It also announced a trip to Spain for the team that would break Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak’s Guinness World Record for forming a 43.79-ft tall human pyramid in 2012.