Union minister Uma Bharti today dismissed speculation that she could become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh if the BJP wins the assembly election there, and said her focus was on cleaning the Ganga river. “I do not think about anything other than the Ganga,” the Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation told reporters when asked whether she would become the chief minister if the BJP wins the UP polls.
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The BJP is the only major contender for power in Uttar Pradesh which has not declared a chief ministerial candidate. The SP-Congress alliance has incumbent Akhilesh Yadav as the chief ministerial candidate and the BSP has its supremo Mayawati. Expressing her desire to make the Ganga river clean in her lifetime, Bharti said, “I will go to any extent to achieve this aim whether I die or have to fight with others.”
She lashed out at opposition parties for raising questions over the work done so far to make the Ganga river clean, saying there will be “perceptible results” by 2018. “The timeline given by me will be followed and results will be seen in 2018,” she said. She also attacked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for alleging that no work has been done for cleaning the Ganga.
“He should not lose patience. I will take him to the places where work is being done. Just tell Rahul not to go to Bangkok and stay in India,” she said, in an apparent reference to his visits abroad. She also slammed Rahul for his comment that how could people of Gujarat call the Ganga their mother, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Despite being a big leader of a big party, Rahul said such a petty thing that how could people of Gujarat call Ganga river their mother,” she said.