Maharashtra political parties wait for ‘Pitru Paksha’ period to end

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on September 27, 2019 Published on September 27, 2019

Maharashta Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis   -  THE HINDU

The ‘ínauspicious’ will end on September 28 and should see the BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP commencing acitivity in the run-up to Assembly polls

Political activity in poll-bound Maharashtra will gain momentum with the end of the “inauspicious” Pitru Paksha or Shraddha period on Saturday. While elections were announced almost a week ago, politicians are unwilling to take any major decisions on alliances (only discussions have taken place), announcing the names of candidates or even the launch of a campaign for the State Assembly polls, which will be conducted on October 21.

Pitru Paksha is observed to pay obeisance to the souls of the departed by performing Shraddha rituals so that the soul gets moksha (liberation). This year the Pitru Paksha started on September 13 and will end on September 28.

“This particular period is a mourning period and inauspicious for weddings or to start any good or important initiative. And what could be more important than power? We don’t want to take a risk by drawing the wrath of deceased people by starting political moves during this period,” said one of the young politicians, on condition of anonymity, fearing that if he comes out openly it would damage his “ rational” image.

Political circles are abuzz with talk that the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena alliance is waiting for Pitru Paksha to end so to formally announce their seat-sharing formula.

Recently, when the media asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis if Pitru Paksha was delaying an alliance decision, he adroitly sidestepped the question and left it to Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray to respond. Thackeray quipped, “Our party is Pitru Paksha (he meant his party is Bal Thackeray’s (his father's) party”. Political observers say that Uddhav also wanted to communicate to Fadnavis that the Sena is the “fatherly” party in the saffron alliance.

But it is not just observing Pitru Paksha; politicians across party lines in Maharashtra get busy in various rituals ahead of the polls.

Maharashtra is the first in the country to enact an anti-superstition law after rationalist activist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune. Dabholkar had campaigned for the law. However, no political party wholeheartedly supported the move and the law, in diluted form, was passed only when Dabholkar was killed in 2013.

Published on September 27, 2019
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