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Kejriwal wants to allow Chhath Puja but Sisodia seeks guidelines from Centre: How the blame-credit game will pan out

While Delhi government on its own had decided to ban firecrackers for Diwali, for Chhath Puja, they wrote to Central government and LG.

If there is one person one can learn how to have their cake and eat it too it is Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. On October 14, 2021, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party head Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to announce that he has urged Delhi LG to allow the Chhatth Puja celebrations in November this year.

He claimed that COVID has been in control and many states have allowed the celebrations. This is quite contrary to the request made by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Interestingly, the ban on celebrations on Chhath Puja in Delhi was announced by the AAP govt itself, but now the CM is requesting the governor to lift the ban.

On September 30, the Delhi govt had imposed a ban on holding Chhath Puja in public places, while relaxing the restrictions on gatherings till November 15 in view of other festivals. After the opposition BJP had opposed the ban, CM Arvind Kejriwal had asked them not to do politics over the issue, saying that restrictions imposed on Chhath Puja celebrations are only to safeguard people from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even on October 8, Arvind Kejriwal had refused to roll back the ban on Chhath Puja celebrations in public, and had said that the opposition is doing dirty politics over the issue. “We want people to celebrate all the festivals. During Chhath puja devotees are required to wade into water. If one Covid infected person gets into water, the entire water will get infected. It could lead to fast spread of coronavirus. Keeping the health of the people in mind we have taken this step,” Kejriwal had said, justifying his government’s decision to impose the ban.

On 12th October, Sisodia wrote to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to issue guidelines for celebrating the Chhath festival. What is amusing is that just few days prior to this, Delhi government had on its own banned firecrackers on Diwali.

On 15th September, Kejriwal took to Twitter to announce a complete ban on procurement, storage and sale of firecrackers for Diwali keeping in mind ‘air pollution’. This is despite the fact that scientific studies have shown that firecrackers contribute little to pollution and the bigger culprit is the stubble burning in the neighbouring state of Punjab which adds to Delhi pollution woes.

However, while Delhi government on its own had decided to ban firecrackers for Diwali. But for Chhath Puja, first, they banned it, after that, they wrote to the Central government and LG. Here is how Kejriwal has played a dirty political game over Hindu festivals:

Chhath Puja in Delhi

Chhath Puja is celebrated mostly in Bihar and Purvanchal area of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh goes to polls early next year. Many people from UP and Bihar stay in Delhi, which is why the celebration of Chhath Puja has gained prominence in Delhi too. However, in a poll-bound state, where Aam Aadmi Party wants to contest elections, Chhath Puja is being used as a political tool.

It is clear that if Delhi government on its own can decide for Diwali it can also decide for Chhath Puja. But it did not. Because, vote bank politics. If Central government issues guidelines and issues restrictions as part of COVID protocol, Kejriwal would blame Centre for not paying heed to sentiments of people from Purvanchal, part of UP. But if LG does allow celebration of Chhath Puja, Kejriwal would swoop in and take credit for the same.

A true politician.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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