Let govt specify Ganesha festival norms: Shivakumar

Let Karnataka govt specify Ganesha festival norms: D K Shivakumar

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is under pressure from his party colleagues to relax norms for the festival

D K Shivakumar. Credit: DH photo

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K Shivakumar is non-committal on whether or not the government should relax Covid-19 restrictions for the upcoming Ganesha Chaturthi festival. 

"I won't state my party's stand right now. Ganesha is the god to ward off evil. Our wish is that the festival should be celebrated in every house. How this should be done is something the government should specify by issuing guidelines. Let’s wait for that," Shivakumar told reporters on Saturday. 

The government has already banned public celebrations of the Ganesha festival by setting up pandals. "People must celebrate the festival in their homes and no procession will be allowed while bringing the Ganesha idol or during the immersion of the idols," a recent order stated.

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But Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is under pressure from his party colleagues to relax norms for the festival. He has said that the issue will be discussed at a meeting of experts scheduled on August 30. 

Energy Minister V Sunil Kumar has said that dharmic sentiments must be kept in mind before imposing restrictions while BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal has warned Bommai against "troubling" Hindus during the Ganesha festival.  

On Saturday, Vishwa Hindu Parishad regional secretary Jagannath Shastri said the government should allow public celebration of the Ganesha festival and even warned of protests. 

"Permission was given last time with restrictions. This time, too, 40-50 people should be allowed to celebrate," he said. "Just as permission has been given for people to offer community prayers at mosques and churches, Hindu festivals should be permitted for celebrations. Otherwise, we will have to agitate against the government," he said.

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