Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis attends Chhath puja at Mumbai’s Juhu beach

The four-day Chhath festival concluded in the mega city today with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis attending the event at the famous Juhu beach here.

Invited by Mumbai BJP unit general secretary Amarjeet Mishra and the organisers of social organisation Chhath Utsav Mahasangh, Fadnavis arrived at the beach at around 5.30 AM and spent around an hour with the devotees by taking part in Chhath puja. In his brief address to the devotees, the CM said, “Offering oblation to the rising sun has multiple spiritual and scientific advantages. The sun is the most precious gift given to the habitant of the earth, without whom we cannot imagine to live for a while.”

A large number of devotees gathered at various beaches and other water bodies since the wee hours and offered prayers to the rising sun. The festival is mainly celebrated in Bihar, eastern UP and Jharkhand. The puja is performed in order to thank the sun god for sustaining life on earth. With an eye on north Indian votes in the megalopolis which can tilt scales in upcoming high-stakes Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, various political parties have been trying to leverage the Chhath festival. There are more than 22 lakh north Indians living in the megalopolis.

However, denying any political angle to the festival, Mishra had earlier said the BJP has been organising the festivities for the last two decades as a “social cause” without any connection with elections. The Chhath puja was organised at various places in the city, including Borivali, Mulund, Chembur and Colaba, with the biggest programmes held at Dadar and Juhu chowpatty.