Procession of controversies ahead of Jamboo Savari

Procession of controversies ahead of Jamboo Savari

Wadiyar skips ceremony; minister, MLAs miffed over distribution of passes

Procession of controversies ahead of Jamboo Savari

Chaos, confusion and controversies marked the run-up to the grand finale of the 403rd Dasara celebrations in Mysore on Monday. 

High drama unfolded two days before Jamboo Savari, with District in-Charge Minister V Sreenivas Prasad losing his cool over passes issued to VVIPs for Jamboo Savari. At one point of time, he is said to have even threatened to boycott the grand finale. He was later pacified by Siddaramaiah.

 On Sunday, when both deputy commissioner C Shikha and police commissioner M A Saleem handed over a set of passes to the miffed Minister at his residence, Prasad is said to have flung them. Prasad was peeved to receive passes issued to general public. 

Moreover, a sea of his followers had converged in front of his house, crying hoarse against the authorities, especially Saleem for restricting distribution of passes. This was followed by the meeting at Palace Board office, where the Narasimharaja MLA Tanveer Sait and several others took the DC, who is also the Dasara special officer, to task.

Shikha is learnt to have expressed her inability, passing the buck to Saleem. 

The drama continued on Monday too, hours before Jamboo Savari, with Prasad remaining absent during the Chief Minister’s visit to Suttur Mutt. Also, Chamaraja MLA Vasu is said to have thrown a fit over the passes. Vasu who initially got 25 passes, is said to have calmed down only after he was given 75 passes.

Wadiyar absent

Owing to reported health complications, the royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, skipped the ceremony to pay floral tribute to the howdah elephant. Instead, a priest named Narendra from the Palace completed the ritual by offering puja to Arjuna, the howdah carrier elephant. Siddaramaiah, Prasad, Mayor N M Rajeshwari and officials offered floral tributes to the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari kept inside the 750-kg golden howdah, a piece de resistance of Navaratri festivities.

Sources said that Wadiyar who is suffering from pain in the waist, also preferred to take a car instead of the silver palanquin during his private Jamboo Savari preceding the government ceremony held within the Palace precincts in the morning. 

Dressed in the royal attire, he took the car to reach ‘shami’ tree in the corner of Jayamarthanda gate. It is rumoured that Wadiyar, who also stayed away during the previous Jamboo Savari, may have deliberately absented himself, because of his differences with Siddaramaiah. It was during Siddaramaiah's tenure as deputy chief minister in the then J H Patel’s Cabinet, the government had made a bid to take over the palace.

Howdah tilts

The golden howdah carried by Arjuna, tilting to its left added to the burgeoning list of controversies throughout the Jamboo Savari. 

Though it came to notice after floral tributes were offered to Goddess Chamundeshwari, the authorities couldn’t do much other than tying a rope to the howdah with the ‘kavadi of kumki’ elephant Sarala holding the rope. Last year too, when Arjuna carried the howdah, it had titled dangerously, creating a scare. It is said that Arjuna’s back is not as flat as that of Balarama, his predecessor.

‘Forced’ into procession

Though senior Forest officials had expressed their apprehensions about using Balarama, the veteran howdah carrier during the procession, the elephant was apparently forcefully made part of Jamboo Savari. 

On Ayudha Puja day, officials along with mahouts and kavadis were supposed to take a collective decision over including Balarama in the procession in view of his erratic behaviour during the rehearsals. It is said that officials gave in after mahouts and kavadis made a noise over the issue. 

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