The Maharashtra government has issued circular to local bodies including municipal corporations asking them not to spend government funds on religious and social functions organised by private institutions.According to the circular, the local bodies will not spend money on Ganeshotsav, Navratri, Ramzan, Eid, Chhath Puja, Gudi Padva, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti and Dr BR Ambdedkar Jayanti.Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale objected to the circular, saying that the expenditure for Dr Ambedkar’s death anniversary at Dadar is borne by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.”Thousands of people across India throng Chaityabhumi on December 6. If the BMC is not allowed to spend the money, then who will? It is the duty of the government to make arrangements for people who are coming from various places. This circular will create a havoc. The religious sentiments of people will be also be hurt. Before it stirs a larger controversy, it has to be struck down immediately,” he said.According to the circular dated November 29, 2017, as per the court directives in Pradeep Jangan versus the state of Maharashtra case, the government has decided not to spend funds on any religious and social functions. As per the Maharashstra Municipal Corporation Act, 1949 and the Constitution of India, it is utra virus to spend government money on religious functions.Pradeep Jangan in his petition said that the expenditure on religious functions organised by private orginsations is borne by the government. “This is completely contradictory to the provisions of the Bombay Municipal Act 1949. It is loss of public money. There are various social and religious orgnisations which regularly seek government funds to celebrate their functions such as Dasma Devi festival, Mahashivratri Utasav, organised by Dharavi Devi Mandir Trust,” he said.The judgment further reads that the Municipal Corporation must also bear in mind that secularism is part of the basic structure of the Constitution and the municipal funds are primary required to be spent on civic amenities.SENA MP OBJECTSShiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale objected to the circular, saying that the expenditure for Dr Ambedkar’s death anniversary in Dadar was borne by the civic body, and stopping this will hurt the sentiments of thousands in the city.
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