Spade in hand, Modi cleans ghat

PM nominates nine leaders to carry forward campaign

Spade in hand, Modi cleans ghat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign in his constituency of Varanasi by picking up a spade and clearing silt from the banks of the Ganga.

Modi also nominated nine people, including Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, for carrying forward the mission in the state.

The prime minister, who concluded his two-day visit to Varanasi on Saturday, cleaned the silt deposited at Assi Ghat with hundreds of people, including workers from the local bodies.

“It seems like the ghats had not been cleaned for years,” Modi quipped on seeing the silt spread all over the banks.

“The cleanliness drive has started today....now I am sure all the ghats will be cleaned,” he added. The prime minister said he has been assured by the volunteers that ghats would be cleaned in a month. Modi also said that his government would expedite cleaning of the Ganga.

Modi nominated nine people–Akhilesh, cricketers Md. Kaif and Suresh Raina, singer Kailash Kher, stand-up comedian Raju Srivastava, Bhojpuri actor and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, Varanasi Sanskrit University faculty Devi Prasad Dwivedi, Hindi writer Manu Sharma and founder of the varsity for the blind Rambha-dracharya –to take forward the campaign in UP.

Modi, who spent a little over half an hour at the ghat, also paid obeisance to the Ganga. The prime minister later visited Ma Anandamayi Hospital.

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