Covid Situation Better, Allow Chhath Puja, Kejriwal Writes to L-G After Manoj Tiwari's 'Anti-Hindu' Jibe

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday wrote to L-G Anil Baijal, urging him to allow Chhath Puja celebrations as the Covid-19 situation in Delhi is under control. He requested Baijal to call a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) as soon as possible to grant permission for Chhath celebrations.

In its order on September 30, the DDMA had prohibited Chhath celebrations at public places, including riverbanks, waterbodies, and temples, in view of the threat posed by Covid-19, leading to protests by the Delhi BJP. Kejriwal said the Covid situation in Delhi is under control for the last three months and he believed that the permission to celebrate Chhath should be given with protocols for the pandemic.

He said other states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan, have allowed Chhath celebrations with reasonable restrictions.

ALSO READ | No Scope for Politics on Covid, Centre Tells Delhi on Chhath Puja Celebrations

The development comes a day after North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari wrote a letter to Kejriwal and said that had his government been serious about holding Chhath puja, it would have asked for directions from the Union health ministry in September itself before announcing the ban.

In the letter to Kejriwal, the former Bhojpuri-actor-turned-politician has also accused him of Muslim appeasement.

"I have to say this with pain, that you regularly offend the sentiments of Hindu community and in Delhi you are accused of radical Muslim appeasement," he wrote.

"Even by banning the festival, you have hurt the sentiments of Hindu community because Chhath is not only a festival of Purvanchal but it is an integral part of the rich historical cultural and spiritual tradition of India."

"As a chief minister, taking such an anti-Hindu stand does not suit you, because of you the dignity of this post is also being tarnished," Tiwari said in the letter.

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"Through this letter, I request that for the preparations related to public Chhath puja in Delhi, action should be initiated by the Delhi government without any delay," he said.

Tiwari was also injured on Tuesday while protesting near Kejriwal's residence against the ban on the celebration of Chhath Puja.

A police officer said that Tiwari was injured after he fell from a barricade he had climbed on to as Delhi Police used water cannons to repel the protesters.

Abhay Verma, the chief spokesperson for Delhi BJP, said Tiwari sustained injuries as he was standing on the barricade. "He is stable now," said Verma.

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