The pandal of Rajasthan Mitra Mandal in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Politics has taken a backseat as of now as political leaders — MPs, MLAs and councillors — are on a rat race to inaugurate Puja pandals in and around the state capital.
This year, politicians are the most sought after chief guests of Durga Puja committees, with Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahay topping the list.
Sahay has received invitations to inaugurate 35 Puja pandals.
“The MP will cover as many as 15 mandaps on the outskirts of the city like Ormanjhi, Kanke, Namkum and Ratu during the next
two days,” Sahay’s press adviser Chandra Mohan Kapoor said.
Besides, within the city, the former Union minister will cut the ribbon of the edifices of Bhutaha Talab opposite Jaipal Singh Stadium, Trikon Havan Kund near Ranchi University, Mahavir Youth Club near Mahavir Chowk, Chandravanshi Mahasabha near Pahari Mandir among others.
Ranchi MLA C.P. Singh, who stepped down from the Speaker’s post, has all the time for his public relations exercise.
“Among the slew of invites, there is one from Jamshedpur. Our leader has just left for the steel city and would be inaugurating the New Sidgora Puja Committee’s pandal at Sidgora Cinema Maidan this evening,” Singh’s PA Sanjiv Kumar said on Wednesday.
The former Speaker will be on his toes for the next two days.
On Thursday, the BJP leader will do the honours at Shiv Durga pandal (Ratu Road), Harimati Mandir (Circular Road), Bhartiya Yuvak Sangh (Bakri Bazar), Rajasthan Mitra Mandal (Upper Bazar), Satya Amarlok (Harmu Road) and a few pandals in Namkum.
Lesser-known politicians like Hatia MLA Naveen Jaiswal and Ranchi deputy mayor Sanjiv Vijayvargiya are in demand to play the second fiddle.
The duo has been invited by Bhartiya Yuvak Sangh Puja Samiti to join Ranchi legislator Singh during the inaugural ceremony at Bakri Bazar.
The deputy mayor is expected to be present in other mandaps of the city too.
Chief minister Hemant Soren has, however, decided not to be a part of the race.
He has left for a vacation in Mumbai, leaving the organisers of ravan dahan programme on Morabadi grounds in the lurch.
The Punjabi Hindu Biradari has invited him as the chief guest.
“The chief minister has not yet said ‘no’ to us. We are keeping our fingers crossed, expecting that he will come back from Mumbai to attend our function. If he fails to make it, Sahay and Singh are there to do the honours,” said Arun Chawla, the president of ravan dahan committee of the outfit.