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BJP MP vows to defy Chhath puja ban at Yamuna, challenges Kejriwal to stop him

This tussle started after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on September 30 prohibited the celebration of Chhath at public places this year due to Covid.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
November 7, 2021 9:09:13 pm
The BJP-ruled South MCDs have allocated a budget of Rs 41.60 lakh for Chhath celebrations this year. (File)

Politics over Chhath Puja continued on Sunday, with West Delhi BJP MP Parvesh Verma saying he would defy the ban on celebrating the festival on the Yamuna banks at ITO and challenged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to stop him if he could. AAP leaders, meanwhile, staged a protest at Dwarka and accused the BJP of stopping them from preparing a Chhath ghat.

AAP MLA from Burari Sanjeev Jha who staged the protest at Dwarka, accompanied by fellow MLA Vinay Mishra, for construction of a Chhath ghat there, alleged that the BJP was trying to obstruct the Puja. “At many places in Delhi, the BJP is stopping Purvanchalis from preparing Chhath ghats to obstruct Chhath Puja. The AAP MLA and volunteers have come forward to construct Chhath ghat in Dwarka in response to this,” tweeted Jha.

MLA Somnath Bharti said the Kejriwal government has built more than 1,200 Chhath Ghats and that there were only 72 Chhath Ghats in Delhi before the AAP came into power. He said, “The AAP, CM Kejriwal along with the people of Delhi are trying their best to celebrate Chhath Mahaparv with great pomp and show in Delhi.”

Hitting out at the AAP, South MCD Mayor Mukesh Suryan alleged that AAP MLAs are trying to encroach upon MCD land and stop Chhath ghats and temples from being made.

The BJP-ruled South MCDs have allocated a budget of Rs 41.60 lakh for Chhath celebrations this year and other civic bodies have also been told to make arrangements for cleanliness at places where the festival would be celebrated.

This tussle started after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on September 30 prohibited the celebration of Chhath at public places this year due to Covid.

Northeast Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari hit out at the Kejriwal government and took out a Rath Yatra in Purvanchali-dominated areas to put pressure on the Delhi government to lift the ban. Kejriwal then wrote a letter to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to allow Chhath Puja in Delhi.

The DDMA last week allowed Chhath Puja celebrations in Delhi in a meeting chaired by the L-G. It allowed Chhath celebration at “designated sites” excluding Yamuna banks. The Delhi government has also declared a public holiday on November 10, the day of the Chhath festival.

Perceived as a Congress vote bank earlier, Purvanchali voters shifted to AAP in large numbers during the 2015 assembly elections when 13 leaders with a Purvanchal background won. The BJP in 2016 had appointed Tiwari, who comes from Bihar, as state president of the Delhi unit – till then dominated by Punjabi and Bania leaders – to attract these voters. During his leadership, the BJP had won the municipal corporation polls but lost state elections.

The civic body elections are due early next year. The BJP has been in power for three terms now.

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