Ranchi, Oct 8 (UNI) ''Guruji'', as Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren is fondly called, had said ''no'' on the pretext of Ravan being the ''Kulguru'' and now his deputy Sudhir Mahto toed the line saying neither would burn the effigy of the Demon king on the day of Dussherra.
Left with no option, the Dusshera Committee turned to Ramanand Sagar's (of television series ''Ramayana'' fame) son Prem Sagar to do the honour.
With the Chief Minister turning down the request from the Punjabi Hindu Biradari a few weeks ago to burn the effigy of Ravana saying he could not oblige as the great king was not a only a scholar par excellence but also his ''Kulguru'', the organisers knocked on the Deputy Chief Minister's door.
After lot of persuasion, Mr Mahto agreed following which the organisers printed invitation cards and started distributing them with renewed vigour.
However, with barely three days left for the big occasion scheduled to be held at the historic Morhabadi Ground, the Deputy Chief Minister made a volte face saying he would prefer to celebrate puja with his family in Jamshedpur giving a jolt to the organisers.
PHB president Gulshan Ajmani told UNI here today that he was yet to contact Mr Mahto, adding that the Dusshera Committee had already contacted Mr Sagar who was expected to burn the effigy.
Since creation of Jharkhand, respective Chief Ministers - Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda and Madhu Koda - have been traditionally burning the Demon king's effigy at the Morabadi Ground.
But the present Chief Minister broke the precedence leading to a fresh bout of political controversy.
The organiseres were miffed at the last minute change of the Deputy Chief Minister's mind.
They said state HRD Minister Bandhu Tirkey of UGDP would grace the occasion as scheduled.
Mr Soren is the president of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha while Mr Mahto also belongs to the same party.
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