Congress faces flak after none of its senior leaders were present at Lata Mangeshkar’s cremation

Sanjay JogUpdated: Monday, February 07, 2022, 08:23 PM IST
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Police personnel stand next to posters of Bollywood playback singer Lata Mangeshkar at Shivaji Park where her funeral was held, in Mumbai on February 7, 2022. | (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP)

The Congress party, which is sharing power with Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra, has been trolled on social media as none of its senior ministers and leaders were present for the cremation of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar at Shivaji Park. The only exception was the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief Bhai Jagtap. The Mumbai District Guardian Minister and Textile Minister Aslam Shaikh and School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad were out of Mumbai.

Amid criticism, the state Congress chief Nana Patole on Monday was forced to clarify that he was out of Mumbai due to death in the family while senior ministers including Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan and Amit Deshmukh were recovering from the COVID-19. Patole clarified that the party has condoled the death of nightingale Lata Mangeshkar.

Patole said he has instructed all party taluka committees to pay tribute to Lata Mangeshkar on next Sunday. ‘’Generally on Saturday and Sunday the ministers travel in various parts of the state and many could not be reached due to lack of connectivity. Lata Didi belongs to the Congress family and her contribution is huge,’’ he added.

However, there are few takers for Patole’s clarification as other ministers, who were out of Mumbai, could have attended the cremation yesterday. A three-term legislator told the Free Press Journal, ‘’It is really disappointing that senior ministers and leaders were conspicuous by their absence at Shivaji Park for Lata Mangeshkar’s cremation. Such an impropriety could have been avoided.’’

Patole in the presence of party leaders on Monday paid homage to Lata at the state party headquarters. He also went to Lata Didi’s home, met Usha Mangeshkar and Adinath Mangeshkar and offered condolences on behalf of him and the Congress party.

Meanwhile, Patole slammed a campaign run on social media against Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan over claims that he spit on the mortal remains of Lata Didi. In his reaction over Shah Rukh Khan’s trolling, Patole said, ‘’Some people are deliberately trying to make themselves big by criticizing the religion of others. This is wrong. Everyone has the freedom to practice their religion. Our Constitution says that one should not criticize the religion of others,’’ he noted.

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