Northeast Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari to mobilise support for Chhath celebrations


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In order to mobilise support for allowing Chhath Puja celebrations in public places, senior BJP leader Manoj Tiwari is embarking on a ‘Rath Yatra’ (a public procession). Tiwari, the Northeast Delhi MP, on Thursday said that the aim of his yatra across various parts of the city was to interact with the Purvanchal community.

“The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has allowed swimming pools to open but has banned Chhath Puja celebrations at the ghats in the national capital. This will not be tolerated by the Purvanchal community of Delhi for whom it is the biggest and the most special festival,” said Tiwari in a statement.

He added that even last year owing to the pandemic, public gatherings for puja were banned by the Delhi government. 

“We are a disciplined community. Mandatory temperature checks can be made at the entry of the ghats. The celebrations can be carried out without any hassle following the protocols. When so many people using swimming pools for hours can’t spread Covid then how come gatherings where devotees get into water at the ghats of the Yamuna or other water bodies only for a limited duration for two days could spread the disease,” he reasoned.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had on last Thursday issued guidelines saying that no Chhath celebrations would be allowed at public places and riverbanks in the national capital, and fairs and food stalls would not be permitted during festivals. L-G Anil Baijal is the chairperson of the DDMA.

Tiwari also said that after the Rath Yatra, he would take a delegation to meet Baijal and chief minister Arvind  Kejriwal to convince them to give permission for allowing Chhath celebrations at public places.

Chhath Puja plays an important role politically, as the city houses a sizable Purvanchal community. The MP will hold a press conference on Friday at 24 Mother Teresa Crescent, his residence, to announce the schedule of the ‘Rath Yatra’.

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