The video featuring Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis highlighting the river cleaning has not been prepared or financed by the Maharashtra government, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) clarified on Wednesday. The River Anthem video has been made by a non-government organisation River March, it said.
The CMO issued the statement in the wake of questions raised by Opposition leaders on the role of government in the making of the video that featured Fadnavis, his wife Amruta, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar and BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta. In the state Assembly, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil critisised the chief minister and Mungantiwar over the video.
The CMO clarified, “The river cleaning campaign has been under way in Mumbai through various non-government organisations such as Esha Foundation, and River March among others for several years now.” Fadnavis had earlier convened a meeting of all NGOs working for clean rivers. The state government had also decided to set up a river authority to tackle pollution. During such discussions, a need was felt to launch a people’s campaign and River March decided to make a video. Sources said it was felt that if the CM and his wife jointly made an appeal on river cleaning, it would have a positive impact on people.
Accordingly, Vikram Chougle, associated with River March, appealed to the CM and his wife to support their cause. The chief minister gave his nod. Creating the video and its release were decided by River March, the nodal organisation which funded the entire campaign, said the CMO’s statement, adding, “The state government has not spent any money on the video. There is no role of any government department in the making of the video.” Sena threat to walk out of govt hollow: Vikhe-Patil