Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues Saturday performed Lakshmi Puja at the Akshardham Temple premises during an event organised by the AAP government to celebrate Diwali.
Kejriwal, flanked by his wife Sunita Kejriwal, performed the rituals amid chanting of mantras by priests from the Jhandewalan Temple. The 30-minute-long puja was telecast live across 26 channels from 7.35 pm.
The event, attended by AAP MLAs, also saw cultural performances, including by popular bhajan singer Anup Jalota. In the run up to the event, Kejriwal had said that the rituals would essentially be a collective prayer for good health and well being of Delhiites.
आप सभी के घर में माँ लक्ष्मी का वास हो, सभी का मंगल हो। अक्षरधाम मंदिर से “दिवाली पूजन” | LIVE https://t.co/DRNablwq2H
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 14, 2020
The Delhi government, in a statement, said that the event was being held with an aim to prevent the air quality from deteriorating further during Diwali, and to generate a sense of togetherness.
The government had previously imposed a blanket ban on firecrackers between November 7-30, with the city reeling under the impact of hazardous air quality and a steep rise in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths.
An official in the Chief Minister’s Office said that Kejriwal is likely to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah to follow up on the request made by him for additional beds in hospitals run by the Centre.
“Delhi CM had announced several steps, including certain restrictions, will be taken next week to handle the situation. These steps will also be discussed. He may seek further assistance including cooperation from other states on controlling air pollution, which is also behind the rise in cases,” the official said.
Last year, the Delhi government had organized a laser show at Connaught Place during Diwali. The event was aimed at dissuading people from bursting crackers.
Ahead of the 2020 assembly polls in Delhi, the AAP had circulated a video clip of Kejriwal reciting the Hanuman Chalisa. The AAP chief had termed the BJP a party of “fake Hindus” in the clip, which was part of an interview given by him to a TV channel.
AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj had announced his plan to hold Sundar Kand paths across his Greater Kailash constituency.
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