Pune: Parties try to make their mark during annual pilgrimage

Political parties are trying their best to make the most of the annual Pandarpur pilgrimage which began Monday. While the BJP has put up a huge cutout of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in traditional warkari attire in the city on the pilgrimage route, the MVA alliance has undertaken a special drive of ‘Constitution Awareness’ among citizens on the route.

The PM’s cutout has been put up by former mayor Murlidhar Mohol with a message welcoming pilgrims to the city. However, it quickly drew criticism from the Congress with state unit chief Nana Patole pointing out that there was no picture of Lord Vithal, Sant Dnyaneshwar or Sant Tukaram with the cutout. “At times, there is a feeling that I am God,” he tweeted along with a picture of the PM’s cutout.

The MVA, through state Social Justice minister and NCP’s Dhananjay Munde, will be holding a ‘Constitutional awareness’ drive throughout the pilgrimage. “The Constitution is also based on the values of equality, brotherhood and social justice laid down by our saints. The Samvidhan Dindi, Constitution procession, has been organised this year with the annual Pandharpur pilgrimage to make the current generation aware of their rights, duties as well as their responsibilities. It is an attempt to give a message of taking care of constitutional rights,” Munde said.

The drive would begin on Tuesday from Alandi and end on July 10 at Pandharpur along with the pilgrimage. It would be carried out through bhajan-kirtan.

Wednesday will see many events but the main event, Samvidhan Jalsa, has been organised on Thursday at Nana Peth in which actors Naseerudin Shah, Shaban Azmi, movie director Nagraj Manjule, and film producer Nilesh Navlakha would participate along with Munde. The drive has been organised by state government-run Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute.

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