Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to allow Chhath Puja celebrations in the national capital at public places. In a tweet shared today morning, Kejriwal said that the Covid-19 situation has improved and that permission can be given to celebrate the festival at public places.
"I have urged Hon’ble LG to allow Chhath Puja celebrations in Delhi. Corona is now in control and many other states have allowed it," he tweeted.
Earlier on Wednesday, Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai had said that the city government wants to allow Chhath Puja celebrations at public places. He had even appealed to the Centre to issue revised guidelines. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia as well had written a letter to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, urging the Centre to issue guidelines for the Chhath festival as soon as possible following consultation with health experts.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), in its order on September 30, prohibited Chhath at riverbanks, water bodies and other public places in view of Covid.
The Delhi government's change of stance came after protests were staged by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers outside Arvind Kejriwal’s house. The saffron party said that Chhath Puja will be celebrated in a grand manner and the municipal corporations ruled by the party will make arrangements for it.
BJP leader Manoj Tiwari even started a 'Rath Yatra' to take the opinions of Purvanchalis (people of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh settled in Delhi) and warned that the DDMA order will be defied if people are stopped for celebrating Chhath.
Meanwhile, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused the BJP of playing politics over the issue, saying their own government at the Centre is not revising the COVID-19 guidelines on the festival.