City unit Congress president Sanjay Nirupam asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to ensure that BJP does not politicise Chhath ahead of the high-stake Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls which are due next year.
“BJP is known to use religious rituals for political gains. I have been organising Chhath puja celebrations at Juhu beach for the last 18 years. As per the High Court guidelines, the celebrations should not take place under the banner of any political party and party flags should not be displayed at the venue,” Nirupam said.
“Party symbols also cannot be used and political leaders participating in the function should not make political speeches,” Nirupam wrote in a letter to Fadnavis.
Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank the Sun god for sustaining life on earth. The festival is mainly celebrated in Bihar, eastern UP and Jharkhand.
Stating that Chief Minister is welcome to participate in Chhath festivities at Juhu beach, the Congress leader said he should ensure that leaders and workers of the BJP do not politicise the religious event.
“As a resident of Maharashtra, I would not like to see Chief Minister of my state facing contempt of court charges. As Home Minister (Fadnavis also holds Home portfolio), you would have to ask the police to take action against your party workers,” Nirupam stated.
As Chhath festival falls ahead of the BMC polls, many political parties are trying to leverage the event to lure north Indian voters.
A delegation of some BJP leaders called on the CM and sought assistance of state government for celebrating Chatth puja at sea fronts in different parts of Mumbai on November 6.