Attributing their success to their connection with Ganesh mandals in their early days,elected representatives of the civic body are now returning the favour by extending all possible support to present-day young activists of their respective mandals. Their commitment towards this can well be gauged from the fact that the civic headquarters is almost devoid of the presence of corporators during the 10-day Ganesh festival.
I had no background to establish myself in politics. I am the first in my family to get into politics and get elected to the civic body. The only reason I was elected to the civic body is my participation as an activist in Ganesh mandal, says BJP corporator Dhananjay Jadhav,who was elected to the PMC in the 2012 civic polls.
He said the mandal activities gave him an opportunity to develop a public network. I was fairly unknown in the area. The mandal provided me with a platform through which I could be in touch with citizens,which helped me during the civic polls, Jadhav said. Now,it is his turn to give back to the Ganesh mandal,he said. I will take up the responsibility of ensuring that the mandal has a grand celebration.
MNS corporator Anil Rane,too,is ensuring that the celebration at the Ganesh mandal he is part of will be grand this time. I am elected to PMC courtesy the public network developed through my Ganesh mandal. The mandal members worked hard for me during the civic polls. I have decided that they will have a big celebration this Ganesh festival, he said,adding that this time,the mandal has planned a huge procession on the first day and last day of festival. Several cultural and entertainment programmes have been organised for citizens,he said. He would take responsibility of the expenses incurred by the mandal during the festival,he added.
Incidentally,it has been observed that Ganesh mandals dont let the elected representatives forget their contribution in making their career in politics. Representatives from several Ganesh mandals made a trip to deputy mayor Deepak Mankar seeking donations. There was such a rush for donations that we had to tell the representatives to visit the deputy mayors house instead of coming to his office. We cannot turn down anyone as they played a role in his growth in politics, said one of Mankars personal staff.
Former Congress corporator Arun Dhimdhime said though he lost the civic polls,he cannot ignore the hard work put in by the activists of Ganesh mandals during election. I will continue to provide support to the Ganesh mandal of my area. If I ignore them,then the opponents will try to get them to their side, he said. Dhimdhime added that he was helped the mandal get permissions from the civic body and police.
BJP corporator Manisha Ghate said it was time for her to work for the mandal as gratitude for the help she received. Ganesh mandals need funds for organising the festival. The police restrained them from seeking donations from citizens. The only option they have are advertisements and hoardings, she said.