Pressure grows on CM to declare Chhath holiday
New Delhi: A day after Chief Minister Sheila
Dikshit rejected demands to declare public holiday on November
1 on the occasion of Chhath Puja, Delhi Congress president Jai
Prakash Agarwal on Sunday asked her to review the decision
considering the sentiments of 40 lakh poorvanchalis residing
in the city.
Agarwal, who is not known to have a very cordial
relationship with Dikshit, sent a letter to her saying the
government should declare a public holiday on November 1.
"I have written to Sheila Dikshit requesting her to
declare a public holiday on November 1. We have to respect the
sentiments of the poorvanchalis living here. BJP has raised
the issue and we cannot allow them to do politics on this
matter," he said.
Dikshit had yesterday rejected a plea by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar to declare holiday on Chhath Puja day,
saying her government has already exhausted the prescribed
limit for gazetted holidays.
In reply to Kumar's letter, Dikshit wrote back to the
Bihar Chief Minister saying her government had declared
restricted holiday on the occasion of Chhath puja in 2001 and
the same is being continued thereafter.
The city BJP has also been demanding that the Chhath puja
day should be declared a gazetted holiday and accused the
Delhi government of being insensitive towards people from
Agarwal said BJP has raised the issue to gain political
millage in the municipal polls due early next year and that is
why he has shot off the letter to Dikshit.
"If the government wants, it can declare a holiday on
that day," he said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP has termed Dikshit as "despotic"
for her refusal to declare a public holiday on Chhath puja
"The chief minister has forgotten all democratic values
due to her despotic behaviour. She treats people of Delhi on
separate issues in different ways. Her behaviour with
poorvanchalis in Delhi has always been of neglect and
discrimination," Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta said.
In his letter, Bihar Chief Minister had said, "Lakhs of
people from Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern part of Uttar Pradesh
stay in the national capital and they will offer prayer to the
Sun during 'Chhath' puja...It will give me immense pleasure if
the Delhi government declares November 1 as public holiday."