Stating that no one can separate her from the Ganga, Uma Bharati, who took charge of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry on Tuesday, said that she will begin a year-long Ganga yatra starting October. The statement comes a day after Bharati handed over charge of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation to Nitin Gadkari. It is learnt that PM Narendra Modi’s disappointment with Bharati’s poor show on Ganga Rejuvenation project paved the way for her losing the ministry.
‘’I have not failed in the Ganga project. Like Nitinji said yesterday, he too was handling the project with me for the last three years. If we failed, how did he get the portfolio?’’ asked Bharati, who did not attend the oath-taking ceremony on Sunday.
While her new ministry primarily deals with the Swachh Bharat Mission, Bharati spoke mostly about the Ganga mission during her interaction with reporters after taking charge. Her only reference to her new job was in connection to the Ganga mission. ‘’Most villages along the Ganga have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). During my yatra, I will look at ways to take it to the next level i.e. ODF plus (sustaining the ODF status).”