MUMBAI: Congress activists were detained when they attempted to hoist black lanterns (kandeels) at Mantralaya, the state government headquarters, to celebrate a 'dark Diwali' on Monday.
Led by state party secretary Sayed Zeeshan Ahmed and others, the activists attempted to sneak inside the Mantralaya complex with black-coloured lanterns, but were prevented and caught by police and security personnel.
They were bundled off into waiting police vans as they shouted anti-government slogans and waved the black lanterns out of the (van) windows.
"Only two persons are celebrating Diwali this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shaha. For the rest of the country, it's a Dark Diwali with spiraling prices, exorbitant petrol-diesel rates, job losses after demonetization and Goods & Services Tax implementation, besides other issues," Ahmed said.
Accusing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of creating delays in declaring drought in Maharashtra, he said the loan waiver announced last year was "merely on paper and farmers continued to commit suicides across the state, especially in the worst-hit Marathwada region."
Though common people of the country in urban and rural areas continue to suffer, neither Modi nor Shah has time to visit Marathwada and see first-hand the plight of the drought-hit farmers, he said.
The activists were taken to a local police station and later released.