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Delhi LG V K Saxena Okays Chhath Puja At Designated Yamuna Ghats, Say Sources

Sources said a few days ago a tweet by Kejriwal had caused confusion with many people assuming that the puja could be performed anywhere along the Yamuna river.

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Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena (Representational Image)
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Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has given his nod to holding Chhath Puja at designated ghats on the Yamuna while advising Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against "misleading and premature publicity" over the issue, LG office sources said Wednesday.

Sources said a few days ago a tweet by Kejriwal had caused confusion with many people assuming that the puja could be performed anywhere along the Yamuna river. They said the LG has approved the file on Chhath Puja sent to him but also took note of Kejriwal's tweet on October 21 even before the final approval was granted.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, expressed objection over the language used by the LG for the chief minister in the note and said Saxena was "hungry for cheap publicity".

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According to sources, the LG took note of the matter and wrote in the file, "The publicity on the issue was done even before the matter was placed for my consideration and before I could formulate an independent opinion on the subject."

In the note, he said the tweet gave the impression that the "Chhath festival will be celebrated on all Yamuna Ghats", which is "misleading" and may cause confusion in the public as the National Green Tribunal has allowed puja only at "designated sites".

"This is seriously problematic as it violates the basic principles of the scheme of governance. Needless to state that premature publicity of the decision creates interest and thus influences the decision-making process independently in the matter which is extremely sensitive as it relates to religious beliefs and practices of a large section of people.

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"The Hon'ble CM is, therefore, advised to refrain from such acts in the future, in the larger public interest," sources quoted Saxena as saying in his file note. Reacting to the developments, the AAP said, "We strongly object to the language used by LG for the chief minister. He is lowering the dignity of the chair he occupies by publicly abusing the chief minister every day.

"The chief minister is an elected representative who has been elected for the third consecutive time with historic margins. The LG has no business to publicly reprimand the chief minister every day. LG is hungry for cheap publicity and wants to see his name in newspapers every day," the AAP said in a statement.

The AAP dispensation has been at loggerheads with the LG office over numerous issues ever since Saxena assumed office in May this year. Recently on October 4, Saxena had ordered an inquiry into alleged irregularities in the power subsidy scheme, raising the hackles of AAP leaders who claimed his move was linked to Gujarat polls and aimed at stalling the free electricity initiative.

Before this, the LG in July this year had recommended a CBI probe into alleged violations of rules and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22. The CBI raided 31 places including the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia last month and also named him as accused in irregularities in Delhi excise policy 2021-22.

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Popular Purvanchali leader and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, in a letter to Lieutenant Governor Saxena in August, had urged him to direct Delhi government officials to make adequate arrangements for Chhath Puja at ghats on the Yamuna. The Delhi government has made preparations for Chhath Puja at 1,100 sites. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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