Uma Bharti, who had spearheaded the ‘save Ganga’ campaign, was today assigned with a specially created ministry for cleaning the holy river along with water resources ministry by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had promised to cleanse the river during campaigning in Varanasi.
At the time of filing his nomination papers from Varanasi, Modi had said “Mother Ganga has called me.” Bharati herself disclosed after the swearing in ceremony that she had been allotted these ministries.
The fiery ‘sanayasin’ has been agitating for long for quick and effective action to save the Ganga river from pollution and illegal quarrying and had been advocating that the issue should be kept above partisan politics.
In an uncommon gesture, Bharti had even approached Congress President Sonia Gandhi in 2011, when the UPA was at the helm and sought her help on the issue. The gesture was uncommon because on the political turf Bharti has been one of the staunchest critics of the Gandhi family.
As Narendra Modi decided to contest from Varanasi, the ancient holy town on the banks of Ganga, cleaning of the river was one of his promises which struck a chord with many. More so because the work done by Gujarat government on the Sabarmati river front was highlighted by the BJP.
After leading his party to a clear majority in the Lok Sabha polls, Modi again went to Varanasi where he prayed to the river Ganga.
And now with Modi at the helm, Bharti is the minister whose mandate is to implement the key project which is not just a matter of conviction for her but also a promise made by the Prime Minister.