Claiming that the Shigmo committee headed by him was traditional, former Ponda MLA Ravi Naik has appealed to Ponda taluka MLAs to join his group to celebrate the traditional shigmo festivities in Ponda. The Shigmo parade is set to start from March 27.
Revealing that his group has asked for a permission to hold a parallel shigmo festivity in Ponda prior to, or after the government shigmo parade, Naik warned that he would hold a parallel shigmo festivity in Ponda if the MLAs do not join his group.
Naik said the government cannot restrict traditional groups to hold shigmo festivities in the town and stated that if the government denies funds to the festivities, he would collect the fund by begging with a 'Zoli' ('Zoli' is a traditional way of collecting funds in Marathi regions where people contribute as per their capacity).
Naik is heading the 'Ponda Taluka Antruz Shigmotsav Samiti' (PTASS) and according to him, it is the traditional committee, which has been organizing the festival in Ponda.
"The samiti is organizing the festival since 1980, when state government hadn't even thought of organizing the festival and thus all MLAs must come under this committee to celebrate the festival," the former chief minister told TOI.
He said the Ponda MLAs must stop politicizing the shigmo festival in Ponda and appealed that they join him.
Shigmo is a social festival with a religious core. The Shigmo festivity was initially started by the Ponda municiapal council's (PMC's) recreation committee with a spectacular display of parades and cultural dances in Ponda town.
After coming to power, as chief minister of the state, Naik made the festival a government function since 1992.
The government wants it to celebrate through a committee formed by its MLAs, the Dhavalikar brothers.
Priol MLA Pandurang 'Deepak' Dhavalikar said, as Naik is a common citizen now, he has to join the government committee to hold the festival. [TOI]