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AAP GOVERNMENT FAILS TO ENSURE CLEAN WATER IN THE YAMUNA RIVER FOR CHHATH PUJA—AJAY MAKEN

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Shri Ajay Maken criticised the Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi for the poor arrangement for the Chhath Puja festival starting tomorrow, which is observed by lakhs of Poorvanchalis residing in Delhi. Shri Maken said the Kejriwal Government has failed to ensure clean water in the Yamuna, the most important element in the Chhath Puja, and was also playing politics in giving financial help for Chhath Puja, in a ‘pick and choose’ manner.

Addressing a joint press conference with ex-MP and Poorvanchal leader Shri Mahabal Mishra and chief spokesperson Smt. Sharmistha Mukherjee at the DPCC office, Rajiv Bhawan here today, Shri Maken said the Kejriwal Government did not write to the Haryana Government for release of water into the Yamuna river for the Chhath Puja nor did the BJP-led Haryana Government take any initiative to release water for Chhath Puja. As a result, Shri Maken observed, the Yamuna river was like a stinking drain with mounts of rubbish piled on the Yamuna river banks after he, along with Shri Mahabal Mishra, Smt. Sharmistha Mukherjee and other Congress and Poorvanchal leaders visited various Chhath Puja ghats. Shri Maken said had the Kejriwal Government desired, Haryana would have released fresh water into the river, but unfortunately Kejriwal was too proud to make such a request, as he was adept only in making charges and counter-charges.

Shri Ajay Maken said when the Congress Government was in power in Delhi, it used to ensure that Yamuna had clean water for Chhath Puja by writing to the Haryana Government to release fresh water into the river a week before the Chhath Puja begins. Shri Maken said it was very unfortunate that though the Chhath Puja begins tomorrow, the Yamuna river was dirty and polluted, and the Poorvanchal devotees would be forced to hold their Puja in this dirty water.

Shri Maken said when the Congress came to power in Delhi in 1998, there were only 13 ghats for Chhath Puja, but the Congress Government increased the ghats to 74 so that the Poorvnachali devotees could conduct the pujas in a smooth manner. He said the Congress Government also extended financial help for Chhath Puja without showing any favouritism, and also provided other facilities like power and clean drinking water round-the-clock. He said the AAP Government was playing politics in providing facilities for the Chhatha Puja by favouring only the supporters of AAP, and its leaders.

Shri Ajay Maken said Delhi was the cultural capital of the county, as people from various States, castes, communities and religions live here, and the trend set by Delhi is followed by the rest of the country.

Shri Mahabal Mishra, after visiting various Chhath Puja ghats, said the sanitation conditions at the ghats were in a mess, as piles of garbage could be seen everywhere. He said it was indeed very shocking that the devotees would have to conduct Chhath Puja in the dirty waters of Yamuna this time around. He said the Congress party strongly condemns the AAP Government’s lack of pareparedness for the Chhath Puja, as the Kejriwal Government was treating the people of Poorvanchal in a step-motherly fashion. Shri Mishra said Chhath Puja is the symbol of socialism as people come out of their homes together to hold the pujas, rising above caste and religion.

Shri Mahabal Mishra said Poorvanchalis living in Delhi celebrate Chhath Puja in a large scale, and the popularity of the festival in Delhi is evident from the fact that there are as many as 500 ghats in Delhi for Chhath Puja, but there is no proper arrangements from the part of the AAP Government for the smooth conduct of the Chhath Puja like cleanliness and clean water. He demanded that the AAP Government extend all possible help and support for the smooth conduct of the Chhath Puja.

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