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Kejriwal writes to LG over Chhath Puja celebrations

New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to allow Chhath Puja celebrations in the national capital with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

"As Covid cases in Delhi are under control since the last three months, I think we should permit Chhath Puja celebrations with compliance to Covid-19 norms," the Chief Minister wrote in the letter.

He added that the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan too have made way for festivities to be carried out in a safe manner.

Kejriwal has requested Baijal to convene a meeting with the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and make arrangements for the upcoming festival.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has locked horns with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government over the issue with Northeast Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari carrying out a chariot procession to garner support of the Purvanchal community in the capital city.

Since then, a bunch of letters have been exchanged between both the Delhi and Central governments and a demonstration was also carried out outside of Kejriwal's Civil Lines residence, where Tiwari got hit by a water canon and had to be taken to the Safdarjung Hospital.

The row began after the DDMA's September order wherein it directed the prominent Hindi-belt festival to be celebrated in a low-key manner at homes due to the pandemic.

Earlier, Tiwari had said that he would defy the DDMA's order to celebrate the festival, most popular in Bihar, Jharkhand and some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, the AAP had condemned the saffron party leader of politicising the issue, saying: The health and lives of people are most important for us. We feel sad that the BJP is playing dirty politics over it. The BJP has no concern for the lives of the people.

Chhath Puja is due on November 10 this year.