Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday performed Diwali puja in the national capital’s Akshardham temple. He was joined by his wife Sunita Kejriwal and deputy, Manish Sisodia, in the televised ritual.
Visuals showed Mr Kejriwal and his wife sitting with folded hands as a priest performs the ritual. Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, sits across them.
Earlier today, Mr Kejriwal, who is spearheading the national capital’s fight against the choking pollution, appealed to the residents of Delhi to virtually join him in the puja. “The two crore people of Delhi will together perform Diwali pujan and chant mantras at 7.39 PM today, that will be telecast live. Let us be a part of Delhi’s Diwali,” he had tweeted in Hindi.
The Delhi government has imposed a complete ban on sale, purchase and bursting of firecrackers till November 30, in view of rising pollution levels and the COVID-19 pandemic.
He had also appealed the masses to not burst firecrackers, in a televised address, earlier this week.
The air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas dipped to “severe” on Saturday as people defied a ban on lighting Diwali firecrackers in several areas, compounding the pollution caused by burning farm waste in neighbouring states.
The city recorded an overall Air Quality Index or AQI of 414 on Saturday, which falls in the “severe” category. The 24-hour average AQI was 339 on Friday and 314 on Thursday.