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Uma Bharti praises Sonia for Ganga efforts

Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Saturday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and demanded that quick and effective action be taken to save river Ganga and prevent parties from playing politics over the issue.



New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti
on Saturday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and demanded that
quick and effective action be taken to save river Ganga and
prevent parties from playing politics over the issue.

Bharti, who recently rejoined the BJP, was all praise
for Gandhi, saying if the government makes any contribution to
save Ganga, the credit for it would go to the UPA chairperson.
"Four months ago, I was disturbed to see the state of
Ganga river. I had then written a letter to the Prime Minister
and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. My demand is that
Ganga should be declared a national river," Bharti told
reporters after her meeting with Gandhi.

"I am overwhelmed that Sonia Gandhi has kept the issue
of Ganga separate from politics and given me time. She read
out portions from a book by Jawaharlal Nehru and told me that
her family has faith in Ganga. She has assured me that she
will talk to the Prime Minister and Ramesh regarding my
demands, and also ask them to meet me," Bharti said.

Other than declaring Ganga a national river, Bharti
also demanded that more and frequent meetings of the Ganga
Basin Authority be held to consider the on-going projects and
an expert committee should be formed to look into checking
pollution and cleaning of the Ganga.

The BJP leader said though the government had
announced formation of the Ganga Basin Authority, nothing much
has been done about its constitution after that.

Bharti had earlier written to Gandhi and received a
favourable reply from her. This had prompted her to seek an
appointment with Gandhi.
In her reply, Gandhi had said that Ganga is at the
centre of the religous, cultural and historical beliefs of
crores of Indians.

"We all are making efforts to preserve the basic
character of the Ganga river. The government is seriously
considering the points raised by you," Gandhi had said in her
reply dated May 31, 2011.

Bharti said if the UPA government works to save the
Ganga, it would be a big achievement for it. She appealed that
political differences should not come in the way of saving
river Ganga.

In reply to another question on the death of Swami
Nigamananda, who died after fasting for 68 days to stop
quarrying work on banks of the Ganga, Bharti said, "His death
is a sacrifice. It is true that the government`s attention was
drawn to the issue only after his death. However, this is not
the time to find faults but to work."

PTI

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