Varanasi: Bringing Swachh Bharat campaign to his Lok Sabha constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wielded a spade to remove silt deposited along the banks of River Ganga and nominated nine persons, including Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, to carry forward the cleanliness drive in UP.
Modi arrived at the Assi Ghat where he climbed down three stairs and worked through an uneven muddy track to reach a makeshift stage where five priests were waiting for the Prime Minister to assist him in a special Ganga puja.
The Prime Minister spent close to 15 minutes offering prayers to the river, as hymns echoed through speakers installed at the venue.
After the prayers, Modi, who was accompanied by a few BJP leaders including party president Laxmikant Bajpai and city mayor Ram Gopal Mohale, picked up a spade and began vigorously digging the huge amount of silt that had deposited along the ghat after the rainy season.
Speaking to media persons assembled at the spot, he said that just like the launch of Swacch Bharat Campaign in Delhi on Gandhi Jayanti, he was nominating nine noted persons from UP to take the drive forward in the state.
Besides the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, those nominated by Modi include Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari, Sufi singer Kailash Kher, comedian Raju Srivastava, cricketers Mohd Kaif and Suresh Raina, Chancellor of University of Blind at Chitrakoot Swami Ram Bhadracharya, Sanskrit scholar Devi Prakash Dwivedi and writer Manu Sharma.
From the Assi Ghat, the Prime Minister left for the ashram of Shri Anandamayi.
Modi is understood to have met inmates of the ashram and visited a charitable hospital inside the premises.
Below are the live updates:
09:23 am: PM Narendra Modi leaves for Mata Anandamayee Hospital
09:20 am: I request them to take this cleanliness drive ahead and nominate nine more persons for the same.
09:16 am: Today, when I am in Varanasi… I would like to nominate nine more names for this. The names are: Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav, Swami Rambhadracharya, cricketer Md. Kaif, Suresh Raina, Manu Sharma, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, Raju Shrivastava, Devi Parsad Dwivedi and Kailash Kher
09:14 am: Today I started the cleaning work of Ganga ghat. Social organisations have assured that they will work in this regard and within three months of time they will clean the ghats. This is a very good initiative.
09:06 am: Narendra Modi uses spade and mattock to collect garbage at Assi Ghat
09:02 am: Narendra Modi launches ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ from Assi Ghat
08:58 am: Ganga pujan ends
08:47 am: PM Narendra Modi performing Ganga pujan at Assi Ghat
08:44 am: Narendra Modi arrives at Assi Ghat
08:34 am: Narenda Modi leaves for Assi Ghat from guest house
08:30 am: Tight security put in place for Modi’s visit
Today is the second and last day of Prime Minister’s visit to his parliamentary constituency.
On Friday, he had made an announcement to adopt the Jayapur village, 32 km from Varanasi, under the ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’. He had also laid the foundation stone of a trade facilitation centre for weavers in the city.