Amid protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against the ban on public celebrations of Chhath Puja in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday he has written to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to allow public celebrations of the festival, as the situation of the coronavirus pandemic in the national capital is “in control.”
Kejriwal tweeted, “I have urged the honourable LG to allow Chhath Puja in Delhi. Corona is now in control and many other states have allowed it (the festival).
The chief minister’s letter to LG Baijal comes just two days after deputy CM Manish Sisodia wrote to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, urging the Centre to issue guidelines for Chhath “as soon as possible.”
On September 30, the Baijal-headed Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) prohibited Chhath Puja celebrations in public places in Delhi, including at grounds, river banks and temples. This was for the second straight year that such an order was issued, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, in the recent past, the city has seen less than 50 daily Covid-19 cases on several days. There have also been a number of days when no new death took place due to the viral illness. Due to the improvement in the situation, schools reopened for classes 9-12 on September 1. The remaining classes, from nursery to Class 8, will resume physically from November 1, as per a DDMA order.
Chhath Puja, a three-day festival, falls after Diwali, and is most popular in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of Madhya Pradesh. This year, it will be celebrated from November 8-10. A large population of migrants from these states reside in Delhi.