Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal On Thursday, wrote a letter to LG Anil Baijal, asking him to convene a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and allow him to hold Chhath celebrations in public.
Citing the low Covid case count in the city, Kejriwal wrote, “Delhi’s Covid situation is under control for the last three months. I think we should allow to celebrate Chhath keeping in mind the covid protocol. Neighboring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan have also allowed Chhath celebrations keeping in mind the appropriate restrictions. I request you to convene a meeting of DDMA soon and allow the function.
Baijal is the president of the DDMA, which had last month directed that Chhath celebrations would not be allowed in public.
Over the years, Chhath has gained prominence as Delhi’s Purvanchali population has grown. While it is mainly celebrated by the people of Bihar and UP, other people have also started celebrating it in recent times. It is estimated that over 30% of Delhi’s population has its roots in the Purvanchal belt. Purvanchali has a majority population in 16 of the 70 assembly constituencies of Delhi.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya asking him to hold a meeting with experts and pass guidelines for celebrating Chhath. Earlier there were protests in Delhi BJP and announced that municipal corporations in the city, which are governed by the BJP, would make arrangements at the ghats to celebrate the festival. On Thursday, Delhi Congress members also staged a sit-in outside the CM residence.
“That is why the deputy CM wrote a letter to the minister seeking directions. The CM has also written a letter to the LG asking him to take a final decision in the DDMA meeting.
Chhath politics in the capital
Recognizing that Delhi now has a large Purvanchali population, governments in Delhi have been setting up ghats for the festival for many years. NS Aam Aadmi Party The government claims that the number of official Chhath ghats has been increased from 72 before 2015 to 1,200 in 2019. Chhath celebrations were not allowed in 2020 due to covid. While the opposition wants to corner the AAP on the issue ahead of the municipal elections, the AAP is keen to take a stand on whether the Center or the Lt Governor will allow the ceremony.