Union minister Uma Bharti on Saturday described Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, as a “sarfira” (crazy person) and said the ideology of the father of the nation is immortal.
On Gandhi’s death anniversary, she urged heads of village panchayats located along the Ganga to participate in cleaning the river and said she would hold a ‘padayatra’ in reaching out to the villagers for this task.
“Today it is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. A crazy person had ended his life on this day. Gandhi ji is not alive, but his ideology is immortal.
“Gandhiji would say India’s soul was in its rural parts. Today is a good day to hold consultations with heads of the villages on cleaning Ganga,” she said without naming Godse.
Addressing ‘Swachh Ganga – Gramin Sahbhagita’, a national-level consultation programme, Bharti claimed herself a “devotee” of Gandhi and said the Ganga Rejuvenation ministry under her is working on the path shown by the late leader.
Bharti noted the Rs 4,000 crore fund spent on cleaning the river over 29 years did not bear desired fruits, but exuded confidence that Ganga will be among top 10 cleanest rivers in the world when the Rs 20,000 crore alloted by NDA government for Namami Gange programme will be utilised.
“In the last 60-70 years, urbanisation along the river took place in an anti-Ganga way. Infrastructure was developed without keeping Ganga in mind,” she rued and added the government will not hesitate from seeking money for the mission in case the already alloted funds prove insufficient.
Bharti said the water resources department was working with other ministries like HRD, Rural Development, Tourism, Sports, in rejuvenating the river and ensuring disposal of solid waste and sewage water.
She said the government was planning to initiate organic farming along Ganga’s stretch.
“We will sign a MoU with Agriculture Minister in this regard. We are also working out list of ponds situated along the river. Water from the ponds will be released in Ganga during lean period,” she said.
Seeking to take out a ‘padayatra’ (foot march) in all hamlets situated along Ganga to reach out to the villagers, she said, “I want to hold the foot march to urge people for a Clean Ganga, which will be a gift to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Bharti said and also lauded the Prime Minister for his commitment towards execution of the Ganga action plan.
Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, Birender Singh, Sarbananda Sonowal, Mahesh Sharma and Sanwar Lal Jat also attended the event, considered as a first attempt to rope in villagers in the mission.