Cries of “Ram Rahim ki jai” – referring to the rape-convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief from Haryana — rang out at a traditional float parade Sangoddutsav on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi in the Cumbharjua constituency in North Goa on Thursday evening.
Power Minister and BJP MLA Pandurang Madkaikar, who is the local legislator from Cumbharjua, said that the floats, which are hoisted on boats in the Cumbharjua river, traditionally highlighted major events which occurred that year, which was why some of the floats had Ram Rahim as a theme.
Two of the 15-odd picturesque floats which were part of the Sangoddutsav, had participants dressed as the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim, while others on the float parade shouted cries of “Ram Rahim ki jai” in presence of Madkaikar and Govind Gawde, who is the Art and Culture Minister in the BJP-led coalition government in Goa.
“We see that kind of thing every year. They highlight some major issue which has taken place within this period and that is one of the floats that we see. Because nowadays it has been a rage, talk of the country and this has to be highlighted and people have to be aware of this kind of things,” Madkaikar said, when asked to comment on two of the floats where supporters cried in support of Ram Rahim, who has been arrested on charges of rape.
Sangodd is a Ganesh Chaturthi-related event, which is unique to Goa and is celebrated in the Cumbharjua constituency annually, before the Ganesh idol is immersed.
The floats are hoisted on big boats or canoes tied together.