NEW DELHI: As the four-day Chhath festival began on Monday, the Delhi government announced that the administration was preparing 800 ghats across the city for the Puja. “Before the Kejriwal government was formed in 2015, barely 80-90 Chhath ghats were established by the previous governments. Only a select few from BJP-Congress could use these ghats. We did not just increase the number of ghats by ten-fold, but also provided the best of facilities there, including tents, microphones, lights and music, hygiene, drinking water and security,” Deputy Minister Manish Sisodia said.
The AAP government aimed at making Chhath ghats accessible to the common man and not just a select few, he asserted. “The BJP and the Congress had made frivolous ‘committees’ for Chhath that would get exclusive access to the ghats. Those who actually wanted to celebrate and offer prayers would be left behind because of their connivance. But this sycophancy was not tolerated under the CM,” Sisodia claimed.
“No matter what the political affiliation of people, the Kejriwal government supported them to form their own Chhath committees, prepare ghats and celebrate the festival in their mohallas,” he said. The BJP, on the other hand, lashed out at the government over the rise in toxins in the Yamuna waters at a time when devotees were preparing for a dip on Chhath.
“There were promises made by the Delhi government that the Yamuna would be cleaned. I am pained to think this is the Yamuna water we drink,” said party MP Manoj Tiwari, who visited a ghat at Kalindi Kunj. He alleged that the Kejriwal dispensation had banned Chhath at Yamuna banks only to hide its failure to clean the river and termed it a “betrayal” of the Purvanchalis.