BJP and Congress leaders including Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her ministerial colleagues today joined Chhath puja celebrations and visited various ghats in an effort to woo around 40 lakh Poorvanchali people who can play a crucial role in next year's assembly elections.
Dikshit and almost all Delhi Government ministers as well as senior BJP leaders V K Malhotra and Vijender Gupta visited various Chhath Puja ghats expressing solidarity with the people from Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh for whom the Chhath is a major festival.
This time, both Congress and BJP leaders have been making rounds of Chhath ghats to oversee preparation for the celebration apparently to win hearts of the community which constitutes approximately one-third of the total electorate in the city.
BJP leaders claimed that the people from Bihar and Eastern UP or
Poorvanchalis, who were known as traditional Congress vote-bank, had favoured it in the municipal polls in April this year helping the party to trounce Congress by grabbing all the three corporations.
Also mindful of the switch-over, the Congress government has left no stone unturned to ensure adequate facilities in all Chhath ghats in the city with Dikshit personally monitoring the arrangements.
"Chhath Parv which offers an occasion to worship sun, has been nurturing social and cultural values of Poorvanchalis settled in the capital city. This festival also helps in cementing social bonds apart from disseminating message of brotherhood, co-existence and mutual cooperation," Dikshit said in a message today.
The BJP-ruled municipal corporations have also pitched in to ensure better civic facilities in the Chhath
The BJP has been accusing Delhi Government of not showing proper importance to the celebrations by not heeding to its demand of declaring the festival as public holiday.
Delhi Government, however, rejected the demand and accused the BJP of trying to extract "political gain" from the issue.
"The BJP is trying to politicise the issue for narrow gain which is very unfortunate," senior MLA Mukesh Sharma, who has been tasked by Dikshit to oversee preparations for Chhath celebrations, said.
Sharma, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to Dikshit, visited Chhath Ghats at Budh
Bazar, Hastsal and number of other areas to see whether proper arrangements were made by local administration.
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