Hyderabad: With Ganesh festival clashing with the election season, public representatives, right from ward committee members to MLAs, have been going to Ganesh pandals across the city not only to sponsor the pandal idols but also to ensure other necessary arrangements until the immersion day. Netas, grabbing the opportunity to interact with the masses, have been in touch with the locals in their respective constituencies. Cutting across the party lines, leaders from all political parties have instructed their cadre to be in regular touch with the youth and families, who throng the pandals during the nine-day festival. To woo voters, leaders have asked their henchmen to gather information about the immersion day, so that they can visit the pandal accordingly. Surprisingly, leaders from the left parties are also giving donations and urging their cadre to attend. While the top-notch leaders are donating for the important pandals in their constituency, cadres have been concentrating on pandals in by-lanes.
The average estimated expenditure incurred on the maintenance of the Ganesh pandals until the immersion day is Rs 2 lakh. The expenditures includes cost of permissions from police and electricity departments, purchasing of idol, erecting up the stage and decorating the pandal, daily rituals, prasadam, vehicles and band on the immersion day. As per officials, there will be more than 16,000 big pandals and 30, 000 small pandals across the city.
T Praveen, one of the organisers of the Lalapet Ganesh Utsav Samiti said, “Every year the youth had to run to every nook and corner of the colonies in the area to collect donations for the the Ganesh festival. However, right from the day of dissolution of the government, leaders from all parties have been in touch with us to learn about the expenditure incurred during the festive season. Everyone was ready to contribute one thing or the other. Some of them assured us of sponsoring the pandal decoration, electricity expenses, idol, band and lighting on the second day. We spent Rs 1.5 lakh during the last festive season and Netas are ready to sponsor the same during the current year and asked us to use the collected amount for the welfare of the residents in the colony."
On the flip side, worried over the expectations of the public, Netas are forced to donate for the pandals in addition to the election expenditure.
Meanwhile, elaborate arrangements will be made for the ensuing Ganesh immersion procession en route from the old city to the Tank Bund.