As per a DailyMail report, the Ganesh festival, which starts from August 29, is reportedly not going to be celebrated at the Sadan this time - and Mallick is being blamed for it. The bureaucrat, who was already under criticism for alleged mismanagement at the new Maharashtra Sadan, has this time drawn the ire of both Shiv Sena and the BJP.
How Shiv Sena reacted?
As per the Dailymail report, reacting sharply over the issue Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, "It is unfortunate that Ganesh festival is not being celebrated at the Maharashtra Sadan; it is a blot on Maharashtra."
The party spokesperson also criticised Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for shielding the officer for disallowing celebration of Ganesh festival.
Why Mallick has opposed Ganesh festival celebration is still unclear
"It is more unfortunate that the CM is shielding officers responsible for such a decision. It is an insult to the 11 crore people of Maharashtra. Tomorrow they will decide that Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti should not be celebrated. This is a dangerous sign for the state," Raut further added.
The party has warned the CM of dire consequences if the matter is not addressed and corrective measures are not being taken.
BJP too joins the bandwagon
Airing similar views on the matter, the BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari too expressed concern over the reports and alleged that Malik's decision had state government's blessings, lamenting that there should be a question mark on celebration of a festival that brings people together.
"The Ganesh festival at the Sadan showcases Maharashtra's culture in the national capital. The state government should clarify that there will be no hurdles this year," he said.
Even Congress MPs from Maharashtra too have opposed Mallick by criticising the move to not to celebrate the festival.
The tradition of celebrating Ganesh puja at the Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi started in 1997. It is considered as one of the grand events of the Sadan which is participated by several bureaucrats and politicians.However, it's still unclear as to why Mallick has objected to hosting the annual celebration.
Mallick's previous controversies
Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare had reportedly tried to feed chapati to Arshad Zubair, resident manager of IRCTC, -- who was observing roza -- while taking exception to the quality of food being served. The media as well as the opposition gave this entire incident a communal colour.
The lawmaker however, said that he was ready to say sorry to the caterer as he was not aware of the caterer's religion. Shiv Sena came out in support of its MP and accused Bipin Mallick of nepotism. The party has since then been demanding Mallick's termination. The party accused the Congress-led Maharashtra government of giving a "political and religious twist" to what it called its protest against poor food and "pathetic living conditions".
This development has raised yet another controversy over Ganesh festival which showcases Maharashtra's culture in the national capital. It is the duty of the bureaucrats to stay away from politicizing religious matters.