Chhath puja seemed to be the perfect opportunity for city politicians to access Purvanchali voters who now form a substantial chunk of Delhi’s population.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who was caught in the eye of a storm after she made some disparaging remarks about migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar adding to the masses of the Capital, was one of the foremost politicians to be doing rounds of Chhath puja venues in the city.
“They (Purvanchalis) have contributed substantially in the development of Delhi. They are backbone of the Congress party that is committed to accelerate the pace of development,” Dikshit said. And she did not forget to make an appeal for votes.
Dikshit pointed to the establishment of a Maithili Bhojpuri Akademi as her government’s dedication to preserving the
languages and culture of the Purvanchalis.
But here political opponent, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Vijay Kumar Malhotra, was not willing to let the members of the community forget "the slight".
“Shiela Dikshit had said sometime ago that the people of UP and Bihar are a burden on Delhi. She also said that she would stop settlement of Purvanchalis in Delhi,” said Malhotra.
He also alleged that voter identity cards and ration cards of “lakhs of Purvanchalis living in Delhi” were not made because of this. “They will not be able to vote in these elections, despite being residents of Delhi,” said Malhotra.
The BJP leader also promised that if the BJP came to power in Delhi, voters from UP and Bihar would be issued voters identity cards without any problem.
“We will also declare Chhath an official holiday like all other major festivals in the country and ensure better arrangements on the banks of Yamuna river,” said Malhotra.