Politicos go Ganesh pandal-hopping in Pune, commuters stuck in traffic
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Chandrashekhar Bawankule were in the city on Thursday. Along with Fadnavis many local and state BJP leaders visited pandals, leading to traffic jams
Politicians and other VIPs are rushing to several pandals in the city, which is thronged by a large number of people to observe the ten-day Ganesh festival which began this week.
On Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Chandrashekhar Bawankule were in the city. Along with Fadnavis many local and state BJP leaders visited pandals, leading to traffic jams.
Among the worst affected routes were Jangali Maharaj (JM) Road, Bajirao Road, Tilak Road and some other stretches from central parts of the city.
Fadnavis visited 12 different mandals and offered prayers. Some of the mandals he visited are associated with BJP leaders like Hemant Rasane, Dheeraj Ghate and Murlidhar Mohol.
On JM road, long queues of vehicles were seen since 5 pm while the situation was no different in Peth areas. The rains in the evening added chaos with traffic becoming even slower.
“I was stuck in traffic on JM road and then at Tilak road for more than 45 minutes at around 7 pm even as traffic police were coordinating the vehicular movement,” said Varsha Deshpande, a banker and resident of Sahakarnagar.
A police constable on duty and attached to the traffic branch said the traffic jams were mainly due to VIP movements. He however refused to be quoted.
As the elections are approaching, senior politicians including Eknath Shinde, and Ajit Pawar also plan to visit various pandals in central parts of the city in the next two days, which is likely to cause major traffic jams.
There’s a large police bandobast kept to ensure no untoward incident takes place.
Manache Ganesh mandals and other important mandals are mainly located in the old city area. Many roads are already closed during the festival time.
For politicians, upsetting Ganesh mandals means inviting the wrath of people who are also political activists when civic elections are just three to four months away. More so when these mandals are power centres, enjoying the power to sway voters from old city areas, largely the bastion of the BJP.