Dahi Handi 2022: Supporters of Shinde, Uddhav gear up for show of strength in Thane
Thane, Aug 18: Thane, the home turf of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, will on Friday witness Dahi Handi events being organized by his faction as well as the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena. Supporters of both sides are busy making preparations to attract maximum crowds for the Dahi Handi, which is part of the Janmashtami festival where youngsters called Govindas, dressed in colorful attire, make a human pyramid to reach an earthen pot containing buttermilk and hung mid-air, and break it.
This year, the supporters of Shinde are putting up a Dahi Handi at Tembhi Naka, while the rival camp of Thane MP Rajan Vichare is organizing a similar event just about 200 meters away at Jambli Naka in Thane city.
Both sides are organizing the events in the names of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray and late Sena leader from Thane Anand Dighe, whom Shinde considers as his mentor.
Kalyan MP Shrikant Shinde, who is the CM's son, and former Thane mayor Naresh Mhaske told reporters on Wednesday that their Handi depicts respect.
On the other side, Vichare said they reflect loyalty, unity, culture, and the voice of Hindutva.
The city police have made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the festival.
Shrikant Shinde and Mhaske said the winning team of their events in Thane and Mumbai will get Rs 2.51 lakh each.The parliamentarian also said he would make efforts to get Dahi Handi included in the adventurous sports category.
Vichare said the winning team at their event will get a prize of Rs 1.11 lakh.
He said there will be arrangements of safety ropes, doctors will be on standby, and beds reserved in hospitals in case of any eventuality. He also said that besides participants, the audience will also be insured.
Local organization Swami Pratishthan is organizing another Dahi Handi carrying total prize money of Rs 51 lakh, including Rs 11 lakh for the winning team.
The MNS has also announced total prize money of Rs 55 lakh for a Dahi Handi event being organized by it and that the winning team may also get a chance to go to Spain. Another Dahi Handi event to be held by an organization of Thane Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik carries total prize money of Rs 21 lakh.