Chhath puja: Are political parties trying to woo migrants ahead of Delhi assembly election?

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Political parties always keep a hawk eye on vote banks and at times goes to any extent to lure them. On Tuesday, the BJP Government tried to took all credits for announcing public holiday for Chhath puja, a festival dedicated to the sun God.

And reason which is quite obvious that they have Delhi Assembly election in their mind which can happen any time soon. Even beleaguered congress also tried to score brownie point on the issue.

Chhath puja

The four days festival is celebrated in order to thanks god Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request granting of certain wishes. Sun, considered as the god of energy worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well-being and overall prosperity at home.

Although the festival is observed mostly in Bihar, Jharkhand, eastern UP and the Terai regions of Nepal, but also being observed in cities where migrants are in large number like in Delhi and Mumbai.

The rituals include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (Vratta), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the setting and rising sun.

The festival consists of Nahay khay on first day then on second day Kharna is observed followed by Sandhya Arghya (evening offerings) and Usha Arghya (morning offerings) on third and fourth days respectively.

BJP is trying to appease poorvanchali

But sadly the occasion is being politicised. After the Delhi government issued a notification declaring a public holiday on Chhath puja, the BJP tried to take all credit. The party said that through declaring the day as public holiday they fulfilled their cultural commitment.

But the truth is that they are eying for around 40 lakhs poorvanchali votes which will play a vital role in coming assembly election.Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said, "Announcement of holiday is fulfilment of our cultural commitment in Delhi. It was also a part of our election manifesto for the people of Puravanchalis living in the national capital".

Goel blamed migrants for problems in Delhi

But the migrants must not have forgotten the scathing remark of party leader Vijay Goel in July this year. Goel had said, "Every day more migrants come to Delhi. Most of them are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They come here because they don't have employment opportunities in their states". 

He further stated, "These migrants settle in slums, which later become unauthorised colonies. If we have to solve the problems of Delhi, we need to stop this inflow of migrants".

Not only that even former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also had blamed migrants for rising crimes in the capital, least she cared that her party will ask for their mandate at the time of election. In 2012 she said, "The reasons that we understand, it is the huge migratory populations and very porous borders. You can come into Delhi, commit a crime and just run back again; I suppose it is very difficult also to check."

It seems, the recent gesture towards migrants is a compensatory exercise of BJP which doesn't afford to lose their support in coming election. By declaraing holiday and showing solidarity towards them is an exercise to mitigate the bitterness caused by Goel.

Congress is also fishing in troubled water
It might be a co-incidence but last year also Delhi Assembly election was held just after this holy festival. This year also the festival is being celebrated at a time when political circles in the capital is agog with the talk of Delhi election.

Earlier, the Congress party lashed out at BJP Government and tried to pull these vote banks in their kitty. The Congress leaders said that the Government not at all care about Poorvanchalis.

Had they cared about them, the party could had made proper arrangement to send them back to their homes through proper railways facilities, the dynastic party said. It is like pot calling kettle black.

Only time will tell who will get support of these vote banks, but this is really shameful that the occasion is being used to give a shot to political prospect of respective parties. Both Congress and BJP is doing sheer politics around it.

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