Despite the restrictions imposed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Chhath Puja celebrations in the national capital, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari has exuded confidence that with the Purvanchal community's support, they will be allowed to observe the festivities in the open in compliance with Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
"Chhath is celebrated hygienically and while maintaining social distancing as women who fast are not supposed to touch anyone or anything. It can be celebrated with ease while adhering to all the Covid-19 guidelines in the open," the actor-turned-politician told IANS.
Chhath Puja, a Hindu festival mainly celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, is due on November 10 this year.
As per the fresh Covid-19 guidelines issued by the DDMA earlier this month, Chhath Puja celebrations in the city has been prohibited in public places and people have been advised to celebrate the same in their homes.
The North-East Delhi MP questioned both the DDMA and Delhi government over the order.
"The DDMA comprises people from Delhi government, which has made this proposal of banning the Chhath celebrations in the capital. We do not think it is fair," Tiwari told IANS.
To garner support of the Purvanchal community, Tiwari has started a 'Rath Yatra' (chariot procession).
"Women in Delhi met me and expressed their desire to celebrate Chhath as usual and I am sure that with the community's support we will achieve our goal," he added.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has condemned the recent press meet on Chhath Puja by the BJP Delhi saying: "The health and lives of people are most important for us. We feel sad that BJP is playing dirty politics over it. BJP has no concern for the lives of the people."