AAP, BJP indulge in war of words on Chhath Puja

The AAP and the BJP were engaged in a war of words on Wednesday on the issue of Chhath Puja, with the saffron party’s Manoj Tiwari calling Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “namakharam” for banning the rituals at public places.

In a tweet, Tiwari lashed out at Kejriwal, saying permission was granted for serving alcohol in the city 24×7 but Chhath was not allowed even with the COVID-19 guidelines in place.

The MP and former Delhi BJP chief called the chief minister “namakharam” (betrayer) over the ban on Chhath Puja at public places, in response to which AAP leader Durgesh Pathak said the rituals have also been banned in BJP-ruled Gujarat and Haryana, and questioned Tiwari over his silence on these states.

“Kejriwal is such a namakharam chief minister. He would not allow Chhath even by following COVID-19 precautions and enact the drama of seeking Centre’s guidelines over it. Tell us which guidelines were followed in serving liquor round the clock,” Tiwari said in a tweet in Hindi.

“The blanket ban on Chhath puja in Delhi is a highly anti-Purvanchali act of @ArvindKejriwal government. Kejriwal should learn from the Uttar Pradesh government which did not ban but requested people,” he said in another tweet.

Citing the examples of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, Pathak tweeted: “Manoj Tiwari, will Yogi, Khattar and Vijay Rupani also be called “Namakharam”? Shame that such words are being used by an MP.”

On one hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued guidelines to stop the celebrations in public and on the other, it is defaming the Delhi government by saying the AAP is not allowing Chhath Puja in the city, he said, adding that “this kind of politics is utterly shameful”.

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“Today, the Aam Aadmi Party demands that the BJP immediately get the permission to celebrate Chhath Puja from Home Minister Amit Shah and the Delhi government will coordinate in the following process to ensure the celebrations. The state governments right now are completely following the guidelines issued by the central government,” Pathak said.

The AAP accused the BJP of doing politics and falsely accusing the Kejriwal government of not allowing Chhath Puja celebrations in the city.

“You remain silent when Purvanchalis are beaten up in BJP-ruled states but on Chhath Puja, you are doing cheap politics. Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have prohibited the puja. In Delhi, Home Minister Amit Shah has prohibited it. You get the permission from him. I will talk to Arvind Kejriwal,” AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said in a tweet.

Delhi BJP’s Purvanchal Morcha staged a protest near Kejriwal’s residence on Tuesday over the issue.

The controversy broke out after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) instructed officials to ensure that Chhath Puja is not performed at public places, river banks and temples in the city this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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