Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday celebrated Chhath Puja at East Kidwai Nagar and Raja Bazar to offer ‘arghya‘ to Sun god and said it is not the time for politics and everyone should celebrate “Chhath Mahaparv” with happiness
His reaction came after the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government banned Chhath celebrations at Yamuna banks.
Kejriwal visited East Kidwai Nagar and DIZ Sector-4 in Raja Bazar to celebrate Chhath Puja to seek blessings of “Chhathi Maiyya”.
“My heartiest greetings to all the devotees on the ‘paavan-parv’ of Chhath. I pray to Chhathi Maiyya to bless all the families of Delhi with happiness, peace, prosperity, growth, wisdom, and health. May Chhathi Maiyya fulfil all the wishes the devotees present here today seek and bestow their lives with utmost positivity,” Kejriwal said in a statement.
Answering a question, Kejriwal said that everyone should take blessings of Chhathi Maiya and celebrate Chhath with gaiety and wish everyone happiness and should not do politics at this time.
“At this time all the people should celebrate Chhath together leaving party lines behind them. This is not the time for politics and ‘tu-tu, mai-mai’. I wish everyone happiness. I wish happiness to my opponents too. There should be no politics of any kind. I want that no party person should do politics and everyone should celebrate Chhath happily,” the official statement quoted Kejriwal as saying.
Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, the chief minister said that there were many hurdles in the celebration of Chhath, but all were tackled with the blessings of “Chhathi Maiyya”.
“We have managed to get a grip over the spread of COVID-19 with great difficulty and penance. Corona is not over yet, everyone should take care of themselves and wear a mask while leaving the house,” Kejriwal said.
Delhi Cabinet Ministers Satyendar Jain, Kailash Gahlot and Gopal Rai, along with MLA Raghav Chadha, visited various Chhath Ghats and celebrated the festival.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain visited Chhath Ghat in Rani Bagh, Saraswati Vihar and Paschim Vihar.
“Devotees involved in Chhath Puja, followed all the Covid norms and celebrated this great festival of faith with great enthusiasm,” Jain said in a statement.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai visited Chhath Ghat in Burari while Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot performed Chhath Puja in Najafgarh.
Rai said that the Delhi government is making better arrangements for the “Chhath Vratis” (those who observe Chhath fast) than the governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
While addressing the devotees in Burari, Rai hit out at the pervious BJP and Congress governments in Delhi and said that earlier when the people of Purvanchal began the practice of Chhath Puja in Delhi under the BJP government, there was no arrangement for the festival.
He alleged that when the Congress came to power in Delhi afterwards, a mere 50-60 sites began to be allotted for Chhath.
“Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has only one message – that the people of Purvanchal should be respected and the work should be done in their interests. As long as the Arvind Kejriwal’s government is in power, no matter how much political conflicts anyone causes, no harm will come to the people of Purvanchal,” Rai said in the statement.
He added that at present Chhath Puja is being organised at more than 800 places in all the assembly constituencies in Delhi.
“The Kejriwal government has prepared more than 800 ghats for devotees. I am proud to say that the Delhi government is making better arrangements for Chhath Vratis than the governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh,” Rai said.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had in an order on September 30 prohibited Chhath at public places, including the Yamuna banks.
However, after protests against the ban by the BJP, the DDMA in its order on October 29 allowed Chhath celebrations at “designated sites” barring the banks of the Yamuna.
It has directed administrative and police officials to ensure strict compliance with all its Covid-related orders.
(Cover: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal performs rituals during Chhath Puja festival at New Kidwai Nagar, on November 10, 2021 in New Delhi PHOTO: Getty Images)