At least a part of the pleasure of Ganesh Chaturthi each year is to observe how organising committees vie with each other to give their idols just enough of an edge to stand out. This is how we get Ganpatis made of mentos or chocolate, a Ganpati doing wheelies on a motorbike, or even a Bahubali-inspired Ganpati who loses his regular flab, adds muscles and hoists a giant Shivling above his head.
So what do you get when a government body attempts the Ganpati game? Election Ganpati.
Dressed in white kurta, pajama and Gandhi topi, this Ganpati in Washim district in eastern Maharashtra stands upright with a ballot in his hand, frozen in the act of dropping it into a vote collection box. The civic-minded Ganpati is housed in the Nagar Parishad mandal of Washim city. The idea was to raise awareness among citizens to vote in the municipal council election this December.
Around 1,000 people visit this mandal daily, said Rahul Dwivedi, collector of Washim district, whose brainchild the Ganpati is.
“We will also take the procession of the election Ganpati during the time of immersion so that the maximum number of people in the city can see it,” Dwivedi said.
The Nagar Parishad will immerse the idol on Anant Chaturdashi on September 15.