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AAP, BJP in overdrive to woo Purvanchalis ahead of Chhath Puja

Chhath puja - celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali - is dedicated to the Sun God and is one of the most popular festivals in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

delhi Updated: Oct 23, 2017 09:12 IST
Parvez Sultan
Parvez Sultan
Hindustan Times
Chaath Puja,AAP,BJP
Chhath puja - celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali - is dedicated to the Sun God and is one of the most popular festivals in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

With Chhath celebrations beginning on Tuesday, political parties in power at the municipal corporations and the state government are trying to outdo each other to woo the sizeable purvanchali population living in the national capital.

In an apparent move to compete with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Manoj Tiwari, the Delhi chief of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), along with party leaders participated in a cleanliness drive at a ghat in Sonia Vihar on Sunday afternoon. He announced that over the next four days, his party workers would volunteer to assist the municipal corporation maintain amenities at the Chhath ghats.

“We will arrange tents and other facilities for the convenience of the devotees. Chhath is not just a religious ritual but also an effort for environment protection. The devotees first clean the ghats and then use eco-friendly materials for the puja. We should use such festivals to keep the Yamuna river clean” Tiwari, who also belongs to Bihar, said.

The national capital has witnessed an influx of migrants from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh over the past few decades. Their population has increased to around 40 lakh and they have assumed a decisive role in the electoral contests in the city.

Chhath puja - celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali - is dedicated to the Sun God and is one of the most popular festivals in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

A BJP leader said that around 1.5 lakh party workers are expected to work in collaboration with the party-led three municipal corporations to make adequate arrangements for the devotees.

Tiwari visited the Yamuna bank two days after the Delhi rural development minister and AAP’s prominent purvanchali leader Gopal Rai took stock of the preparations at Kudesia Ghat, Kashmere Gate on Friday.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a Google Hangout session on Sunday evening said that the government had made elaborate arrangements for Chhath celebrations at 565 ghats this year compared to 268 last year. The Delhi government has constructed 50 pucca structures for the occasion and has formed a committee to monitor the festival preparations.

The government made a special financial provision in the 2017-18 budget for setting up sufficient number of Chhath ghats across the city.

Tiwari also spoke to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar requesting him to release extra water in the Yamuna to ensure availability of adequate water for the devotees till the culmination of the rituals. “The Haryana CM has given assurance that the government will release additional water for the two days during the Chhath puja so that the water level can be maintained in the river,” Tiwari said.

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 23:55 IST