NEW DELHI: The Delhi BJP has intensified its demand for lifting of ban on Chhath Puja at river banks, temples and other public places in the city, with its Purvanchal Morcha staging a protest near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence here on Tuesday.
Leading the protest, Purvanchal Morcha president Kaushal Mishra called the chief minister "anti-Purvanchali" and said that the ban has hurt the religious sentiments of the people from Bihar and Purvanchal settled in Delhi.
The AAP government should withdraw its 'Tughlaqi farman' (diktat) within the next 24 hours or Purvanchalis will teach it a lesson at the right moment, said Delhi BJP vice president Dinesh Pratap Singh.
Representatives of Chhath Puja committees and hundreds of Purvanchalis also took part in the protest, said Delhi BJP media cell head Navin Kumar.
Kejriwal allowed opening of weekly markets, malls, liquor shops, permitted running DTC buses with full capacity, then why is he discriminating against lakhs of Purvanchalis by banning Chhath Mahaparv, Singh questioned.
"Just as Chief Minister Kejriwal wrote a letter to the Centre and sent a proposal to ban Chhath, similarly he should send a proposal to the Lieutenant Governor for permission to organise the Chhath Mahaparva, we will get permission from the Lieutenant Governor," he asserted.
The Delhi BJP Purvanchal Morcha president said that no Purvanchali had ever thought that the chief minister would ban Chhath thus, forcing them to protest.
While Kumar said that by banning Chhath, Kejriwal is "insulting" the religious faith and tradition of the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
"How will the Purvanchalis in Delhi who have a house of 25 yards or who live in a rented house, will give Arghya to the Sun God during the worship of Chhath Mahaparva?" he asked.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in an order last week directed officials to ensure that Chhath Puja was not held at river banks, temples and other public places in the city.
It asked district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police to encourage people to celebrate the festival at their homes.