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Odisha govt ignores ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign call

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Oct 2:

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to all to participate in Swachh Bharat mission since it is “beyond politics” and inspired by patriotism, the Odisha chief minister, ministers and the government officials chose to ignore his call and give the campaign a miss.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan wields the broom at  Bhubaneswar railway station to launch the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ( pic-Biswaranjan Mishra)
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan wields the broom at Bhubaneswar railway station to launch the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ( pic-Biswaranjan Mishra)

While the government officials are happy enjoying their Puja vacation, the ministers are busy campaigning for the Kaqndhamal Lok Sabha bypoll.

The chief minister Naveen Patnaik himself did not show any interest to express solidarity with the Clean India campaign. Instead, he preferred to launch his own party’s state-level padyatra from Raghunath Nagar here on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti before catching the flight to New Delhi, where he will spend the next five days.

The ministers of Naveen Patnaik government are busy canvassing votes for party candidate in the Kandhamal Parliamentary seat.

“We have been directed to remain in Kandhamal to ensure victory of our party candidate. Where is time to participate in the Swachh Bharat campaign? Besides, why should we even try to popularise the NDA government’s initiative?” asked a senior Odisha minister.

The bureaucrats, who call the shots in the government, also stayed away from the Swacchh Bharat Campaign and did little to sensitize the people about the mission, which aims at making cleanliness a mass movement.

The Odisha governor Dr SC Jamir joined the nationwide cleanliness drive today by cleaning a part of the grassy patch inside the Raj Bhawan campus.

It is to be noted that Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram on Wednesday accused the state government of not showing any interest to implement the central schemes.

Odisha Governor SC Jamir    does his bit for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Raj Bhawan
Odisha Governor SC Jamir does his bit for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Raj Bhawan

“It is disheartening to see the state government not taking much interest in the Centre’s programmes. Sometimes it even ignores them,” said Oram.

However, the two Union ministers Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan did their bit to promote the all-India cleanliness campaign in the state. While Pradhan launched the scheme at the Bhubaneswar Railway station, Oram wielded the broom at the Rourkela Railway station today.