With Assembly elections round the corner,the BJP on Wednesday said it would declare Chhath a public holiday if voted to power. The declaration by the partys Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari came after Poorvanchali leaders in the party demanded equal status for the community in the capital.
Claiming to have 40 lakh Poorvanchali voters in the capital,the leaders demanded regularisation of their colonies,declaring Chhath a public holiday and fair ticket distribution for the elections.
In the past,the BJP and the Congress have fought over declaration of Chhath as a public holiday. Several times,BJP-ruled corporations have asked the Delhi government to declare Chhath as a public holiday,only to be turned down by the Congress government.
Former BJP president and in-charge of Delhi for the Assembly elections,Gadkari also promised medical benefits and construction of 10 lakh low-cost houses for Poorvanchalis.
Promising equal opportunities to the Poorvanchalis,Gadkari said,People from Bihar,Jharkahnd and eastern Uttar Pradesh will be given equal opportunities. I assure that if the BJP is voted to power in Delhi,Chhath will be declared as a public holiday.
Making a slew of poll promises,Gadkari said the BJP government would construct 10 lakh low-cost houses for Poorvanchalis. Gadkari,raising hope among workers,said he was an ordinary party worker and that the democratic functioning of the party had given him the chance to reach the top rung. He recalled one of his interactions with President Pranab Mukherjee,where he said he had told him that leaders can become PM or President in the Congress but the party president post was reserved for the Gandhi family.
Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel alleged that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had accused Poorvanchalis of fuelling the crime graph in the city. For the past 15 years,Poorvanchalis have been ignored by the government. The government has not even provided them with basic amenities and instead accused them of being responsible for crime incidents. Without these people,the development of the capital is not possible, Goel said.