New Delhi, Nov 5 : In a bid to woo the Purvanchali voters ahead of next year’s MCD polls, Delhi’s AAP government on Friday declared a public holiday on November 10 on account of Chhath Puja.
A Delhi government statement said: “Chhath Puja is an important festival for the people of NCT Delhi. Accordingly, the government of NCT of Delhi has decided to declare 10th November as public holiday on account of Chhath Puja.”
The Purvanchal voters, hailing from eastern UP and Bihar, comprising over 36 per cent of total electorate in the capital city, play a crucial role in deciding political fortunes of any party. They are in a dominant position in 20 of Delhi’s 70 Assembly constituencies, and have a sizable presence in all remaining seats.
Politics on Chhath started in 2010, when Sheila Dikshit was the Chief Minister, and then Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta, with an eye on the section, raised the demand for public holiday on Chhath.
With the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) last week holding that Chhath Puja celebrations will be allowed at designated sites only in the national capital except the banks of the Yamuna, due to water pollution caused after immersion of prayer offerings, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari had accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of politicising the issue and doing injustice to the Purvanchali community residing in the national capital.
AAP MLA Sanjeev Jha had also written to Lt Governor Anil Baijal, seeking an appointment over the “serious” issue.