With the presence of two rival organizing committees, Margao will play host to two Shigmo festivities-one affiliated to Margao MLA Digambar Kamat and headed by Vasant Shirodkar and the other headed by former Fatorda MLA Damodar 'Damu' Naik.
While the Shirodkar group has stated that its samiti will hold a two-day Shigmotsav on April 4 and 5, the Naik-led Shigmotsav Samiti has stated that its festivities will start on April 3 and will end with the Shigmo float parade on April 7.
Further, the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) has given permission to the group headed by Shirodkar to use Lohia Maidan for the first two days of the festivities and the group headed by Naik for the subsequent two days.
The Shirodkar group has stated that its Madgao Shigmotsav Samiti was formed in 1988 to promote cultural, devotional and social activities, and was formed purely on democratic lines irrespective of politically-related interests.
Naik, on the other hand, pointed out that last year there was only one Shigmo festival organized in the city and that he failed to understand why others wanted to organize the festival this time.
Margao, during the Kamat-led Congress regime, had seen two Shigmo celebrations organized by these rival groups for five years prior to last year.
Efforts in the past towards unification of the two groups had come to naught, as the two parties stood their ground. Consequently, the Kamat-led group enjoyed state patronage and got funds to organize the grand Shigmo parades, while the BJP-affiliated panel headed by Naik would restrict themselves to holding romta mell and suvari vadan (folkdances to the accompaniment of traditional musical instruments).
Last year, however, with the code of conduct in force, the state's tourism department constituted a committee headed by the chief officers of civic bodies to hold the official Shigmotsav parade. Both the rival committees had extended their support to the apolitical committee for the organization of the Shigmotsav celebrations last year, which was held soon after the Parrikar government came to power. [TOI]