New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manoj Tiwari on Saturday slammed the Delhi government for banning the Chhath puja celebrations in the national capital and said the party will hold protests in the city if the ban is not lifted.
Speaking to ANI, Tiwari said that the Aam Aadmi Party-led government's decision to ban Chhatt Puja is very shocking. "We will celebrate Chhath as per the COVID protocol like other things are happening," he stated.
"If the celebration of Chhath is obstructed by the Delhi government in any way, then we will be compelled to protest against this decision. It is our endeavour that there should be no politics on Chhath Puja," he added.
Tiwari said he had called various Chhath puja organising committees in the national capital to his residence for a meeting on Friday, to discuss the issue.
He said that around 223 Chhath puja committees came to his residence and everyone expressed great displeasure and disappointment on the Delhi government's decision.
"We have explained to them that now that the government has taken a decision, we will talk with them. We are confident that there will be a positive outcome of the discussion," he stated.
The BJP leader added they the party had sought time from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to consider this matter. "We will soon have a meeting with LG," he said.
Tiwari said that Chhath Vrat is a festival of great reverence for which vows are made from year to year. "Those who do not have children or have any other wish, they worship for a whole year and complete it with Chhath fast. The Chhath festival should be allowed," he stated.
"According to me, if the government makes both the doses of vaccines mandatory to celebrate Chhath, it will not only solve the issue of celebration but will also encourage people to get fully vaccinated," he added.
Tiwari said he was "astonished" by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority's (DDMA) order banning Chhath celebration in the national capital. "All markets are open, the metro is running, cinema halls have also started and in the midst of all this, the upcoming festivals like Ramlila have also been allowed with some condition. Then why was it decided to ban Chhath completely?" he asked.
The Delhi government on Thursday stated the Chhath puja celebration shall not be allowed in public places, public grounds, river banks and temples citing the COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital.
An order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) advised the public to celebrate Chhath puja at their homes. (ANI)