AAP BJP engage in war of words over Chhath Puja in Delhi
AAP BJP engage in war: BJP accused AAP govt of discriminating against Purvanchalis after ban on Chhath celebration in Delhi
The AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) government’s decision to ban Chhath puja celebrations in public places in Delhi has spurred a war of words between leaders from the ruling party and Bharatiya Janata Party. On Tuesday, Delhi BJP leaders demonstrated outside CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, demanding immediate withdrawal of the ban. The protest was led by Delhi BJP Poorvanchal Morcha president Kaushal Mishra. In addition to the demand, BJP leaders also asked the AAP government to make adequate arrangements in public spaces for people to celebrate the festival while following COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Responding to BJP’s demands, the AAP government asserted that the decision to ban the celebrations in public places has been taken in line with the guidelines issued by the NDA-led Central government aimed at containing the pandemic. The Kejriwal-led government further added that it will follow the Central government’s order if Home Minister Amit Shah allows the celebrations to take place in public places.
Delhi BJP general-secretary Dinesh Pratap Singh accused CM Arvind Kejriwal of discriminating against Poorvanchalis by banning Chhath celebrations even as weekly markets, shops, malls and DTC buses are openly functioning across various parts of the national capital amid the prevailing pandemic conditions.
“Mr. Kejriwal allowed the opening of weekly markets, malls, liquor shops, and running of e-rickshaws and DTC buses with full capacity. Then why is he discriminating against lakhs of Poorvanchalis by banning Chhath Mahaparva (mega-festival)?” the BJP leader said as quoted by media reports.
In retaliation, AAP leader Durgesh Pathak addressed a press meet, asserting that the puja is not taking place in public places in Delhi and other states in the country due to the guidelines issued by the Home Ministry imposing several restrictions on the celebration of Chhath puja. He further slammed BJP for politicising the issue, calling it “shameful”.
The AAP leader further called on BJP to get permission from Home Minister for celebrating Chhath puja, following which the Delhi government will coordinate in the process to organise the necessary preparations in the national capital. However, BJP leaders went on to advise the Delhi government to send a proposal to LG Anil Baijal seeking permission for organising the festival celebration.
Adding to BJP’s stance, Delhi Congress Chief Anil Chaudhary also demanded the AAP government to allow Poorvanchalis to perform their Chhath puja festival while complying with COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has issued an order announcing a public holiday on November 20 this year on the occasion of Chhath puja.