The Lakshmi Puja at Akshardham Temple on Saturday, where Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his wife Sunita Kejriwal were present along with the CM’s cabinet colleagues, also saw cultural performances, including by popular bhajan singer Anup Jalota.
The event, organised by the AAP government to celebrate Diwali, was announced on November 6, when the CM said it would be a collective prayer which all Delhiites should join.
Kejriwal, flanked by his wife, 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.
In a statement, the Delhi government said 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 capital reeling under the impact of hazardous air quality and a steep rise in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths.
Last year, the Delhi government had organised a laser show at Connaught Place during Diwali. The event was aimed at dissuading people from bursting crackers. Last year, green crackers were allowed in the city, but were in short supply.
After the puja on Saturday, Kejriwal tweeted, “Today, 2 crore people of Delhi prayed together on Diwali. I pray for everyone’s happiness, health and prosperity.”
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