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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 28: The Bharatiya Janata Party MP Parvesh Verma on Friday threatened to pour chemical, used for spraying to defoam Yamuna for Chhath festival, on a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) official. The DJB staffers took boats to spray the chemical seemingly to ensure that women dipping in foams don’t make to the newspapers as they offer prayers to the sun god.

Delhi lieutenant governor VK Saxena also declared a dry day for Sunday to accord Chhath a place of eminence in Delhi’s religious fervours. The BJP leaders are sharing photographs of the Chhath preparations at the Sabarmati Riverfront to make a contrast with the conditions of the Yamuna River in the national capital.

This has now been an annual feature. The political class, cutting across the party lines, rushes to the Yamuna banks for cosmetic cleaning, get clicked, join the devouts to offer the prayers, and return to their normal chores. But the next two days could be different, for the municipal corporation of Delhi elections are around the corner,

With the delimitation exercise of the municipal wards done, the MCD elections could take place in the first week of December. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would be keen to extend its sweeping political control in the national capital to the municipal corporation also, which is being ruled by the MCD for the third straight term. Congress is now a bystander in Delhi politics.

Poorvanchali voters have changed the flavour of the electoral politics. The BJP and Congress in Delhi have not yet been able to shed their Punjabi image, leaving the Poorvanchalis to flock to the AAP lock stock and barrel. Chhath festival represents the political might of the Poorvanchalis.

Yamuna may foam for several years, as is evident from the facts on the ground that the city government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal doesn’t have the scale of the vision to clean the gutter that the river has been reduced to. In the early years of the Narendra Modi government, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had claimed that there will be a day when ships will steam from Delhi to Agra. Yamuna is as dead in Delhi as it is in Agra.

The Yamuna cleaning project of the Delhi government has been money guzzler, alleged to be the biggest scam of the national capital by the rival political parties, because efforts have been half-hearted. Former Delhi lieutenant governor Tejendra Khanna had worked out a plan for cleaning of the Yamuna River when Sheila Dikshit was the Chief Minister. The plan involved creation of a reservoir in Himachal Pradesh to ensure water flow round the year, physical cleaning – making the river free of garbage and waste and zero emission of sewage, and evaporation-proof way for waters to flow from the hills to the national capital.

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1 thought on “Chhath politics returns; Yamuna foams

  1. Interesting coverage on Yamuna foam, history behind failed plan for cleaning and AAP stand to keep the voters happy in the time of Chhath puja by hiding the dirt.
    – what needs to be seen is, if Yamuna would be ever be cleaned in reality.

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