Delhi celebrates Chhath; Congress, BJP leaders join the public

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Cong, BJP leaders visit ghats on Chhath
New Delhi, Nov 8: Thousands of devotees gathered at the banks of Yamuna river in the national capital on Friday to offer prayers to the Sun on the third day of the Chhath puja.

Devotees observing the four-day festival flocked to the ghats along the Yamuna from early afternoon. Married women observing over 38-hour fast stood in knee-deep water and prayed for the well-being and prosperity of their families.

Expressing solidarity with the people from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, for whom Chhath is a major festival, Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Sheila Diskhit and her colleagues, and BJP leaders like Delhi Assembly Election Nitin Gadkari, Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel and party's chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan also visited the ghats.

Sheila Dikshit, Vijay Goel, Nitin Gadkari also visited the ghats

Congress-led Delhi government and BJP-led three municipal corporations, in an attempt woo an estimated 40 lakh 'Poorvanchalis' mainly from Bihar and eastern UP, made elaborate arrangements this year for devotees at the ghats.

The Delhi government's revenue department deployed 15 boats, about 20 divers and several civil defence personnel at the ghats. Arrangements were also made for deployment of Centralised Accident and Trauma Service (CATS) ambulances and fire tenders and a large number of volunteers at each ghat.

The government also asked Haryana to release around 400 cusecs of water in the Yamuna, which had turned filthy, in order to improve its water quality. Various puja committees, most of them having political links, made elaborate arrangements like changing room for women and temporary toilets, putting up tents for devotees wanting to stay overnight, along with provision for food.

Municipal corporations had deployed a large number of people to spruce up the ghat and sanctioned Rs 1.5 crore for the cleaning of ghats. Many councillors and political leaders personally supervised the cleaning and facilitation works. The efforts by the government as well as the Opposition are being seen as attempts to woo Poorvanchali voters ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections slated for December 4.

PTI

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