BJP, AAP battle to woo Poorvanchalis before Chhath

Saffron party to deploy nearly 1.5 lakh workers for 4 days to clean, prepare ghats.

New Delhi: Eyeing the 40 lakh Poorvanchali voters in the national capital, the Delhi BJP and Aam Admi Party-led Delhi government have locked horns over Chhath Puja, the most sacred festival of the community.

Taking on the government over Chhath preparations, the Delhi BJP has decided to deploy nearly 1.5 lakh workers for four days to work with the municipal corporations to clean and prepare Chhath ghats across the city. The move comes a day after the AAP government announced sprucing up the ghats for the festival.

Delhi BJP chierf Manoj Tiwari, on Friday, met with nearly 300 representatives of the Chhath puja committees and assured them of proper facilities during the festival.

Chhath has always been a political issue in Delhi given the large population of Poorvanchalis in the national capital. As per estimates, there are nearly 50 lakh migrant voters from states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and Eastern UP who are called Poorvanchali. More than two dozen Assembly constituencies in Delhi have Poorvanchali population of up to 40 per cent.

Office-bearers of the Chhath puja committees told Mr Tiwari that arrangements of the puja is lagging behind in Northwest Delhi, including Kirari, Mehrauli, and South Delhi and that it must be looked into. It was also brought to the notice of Mr Tiwari that only four days were left and the temporary ghats, which are to be constructed in small parks, was not complete.

After listening to the problems from the office-bearers of the Chhath puja committees, Mr Tiwari assured them that all the three municipal corporations of Delhi and thousands of BJP workers will try their best to solve the problems being faced in observing Chhath Puja.

“The Delhi BJP workers will help the officers and employees of the municipal corporations and also perform ‘Shramdan’ at the ghats for cleaning the same so that the devotees do not face any problem. BJP will also arrange for tents at the Chhath ghat for the convenience of the devotees,” said Mr Tiwari.

A party insider said that about 1.5 lakh Delhi BJP workers will join the municipal employees to clean and make necessary arrangements in the city at the puja ghats.

“Mr Tiwari will perform Shramdan on Sunday afte-rnoon at one of the ghats at the banks of Yamuna in Sonia Vihar,” he added. To maintain adequate water level in the Yamuna, Mr Tiwari had a word with Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

“Mr Khattar assured that Haryana government will release additional water for two days during Chhath Puja,” Mr Tiwari told this newspaper. Opposition leader Vijender Gupta has accused that the Kejriwal government has cheated 50-60 lakh Puravanchalis as it has failed to fulfil its promise to make permanent Chhath ghats.

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