Amid controversy over restrictions imposed for Chhath Puja celebrations, the Central government sources on Wednesday said that COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) or guidelines for the Puja will remain the same as SOPs for all other festivals.
The clarification came a day after the Delhi government wrote to the Centre seeking guidelines for the Chhath festival. In a letter written to the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had on Tuesday called on the Centre to issue the guidelines.
Earlier On Tuesday afternoon, a controversy had earlier erupted in Delhi and the opposition BJP protested after the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi put a ban on Chhath celebrations in public places due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari yesterday suffered injuries during a protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's home in the wake of the ban of Puja celebrations. Following which he was taken to a hospital. MP Manoj Tiwari on Tuesday afternoon suffered injuries during a protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's home. Following which he was taken to a hospital.
"As health is a state subject, we had already issued SoPs related to COVID protocols. Every state decides for itself like whether RT-PCR is mandatory on airport arrival or not. We don't interfere. We have SoPs in place and they are sufficient," stated a government source.
While cautioning the country during festival season regarding COVID-19 cases, government sources said that there will be no third wave if the people of the country decide. Sources stated that India has managed well so far and the government is concerned that the situation should not deteriorate during festival season.
Many in the BJP however believe that Sisodia has deliberately raked up the issue of Chhath and SoPs as the party has been protesting against restrictions on Chhath Puja celebrations. Administering caution, the government, however, is trying to avoid any political duel over Chhath Puja celebrations.
(With agency inputs)