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Why Has Ganga River Gotten Dirtier Despite Spending Rs 20,000 Cr: Congress Asks PM Modi

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NEW DELHI, May 14: (The Congress on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why he has abandoned the Varanasi villages adopted by him and why the Ganga has gotten dirtier despite spending Rs 20,000 crore.

On a day PM Modi filed his nomination from Varanasi, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the outgoing PM must answer for his “failures” in Varanasi.

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“Today’s questions: After spending Rs 20,000 crore, why has the Ganga gotten dirtier? Why has the PM abandoned the Varanasi villages he had “adopted”? Why is the PM determined to destroy Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy in Varanasi,” he asked in a post on X.

Ramesh said when he came to Varanasi in 2014, Modi had said “Maa Ganga ne mujhe bulaya hain” and promised to purify the waters of the Holy Ganga, but soon after coming to power, rebranded the existing Operation Ganga as Namami Gange.

“Ten years later, the ‘Namami Gange’ project has cost the exchequer more than Rs. 20,000 crore. Here are the results: the number of Polluted River Stretches has increased from 51 to 66, 71% of monitoring stations have reported dangerous bacteria at up to 40 times more than safe levels, and antibiotic resistant bacteria have now been found in the waters.

“Where has the 20,000 crore in taxpayer money gone? How much has been siphoned off in corruption and mismanagement? How can the people of Varanasi trust a man who has given a jumla even to Ma Ganga,” the Congress leader asked.

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He also said outside the city of Varanasi lie eight villages that the PM had “adopted”, but a March 2024 ground report found that despite big promises of “smart schools”, health facilities and housing, the villages have seen absolutely no progress in 10 years.

Domri village has almost no pucca housing, he said, adding Nagepur village has extremely shoddy roads.

Dalit communities in Jogapur and Jayapur have no toilets and no water, and the flagship Nal Se Jal Scheme seems to have missed Parampur village entirely, he claimed.

“The condition of Mr. Modi’s adopted villages tells us a lot about his sense of duty, or lack thereof, towards serving his constituents. Why has the PM abandoned his “adopted” villages? Is this the true face of “Modi ki guarantee”,” he asked.

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Ramesh also alleged that “It is well known that the outgoing PM’s ideology is that of Godse, not Gandhi”.

“He has taken his malicious hatred of the Father of our Nation to the extent of destroying the Sarwa Sewa Sangh, started by Acharya Vinobha Bhave, and associated with personalities like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Jayaprakash Narayan,” he said, adding it has been rendering extraordinary public service to the nation since 1955.

“It had been operating on 13 acres of land, close to the Varanasi Railway Station, for which it had full possession papers. It was evicted from its iconic campus in August 2023, and the land was taken over by the Indian Railways. Only one corner of the campus, occupied by the Gandhi Vidya Sansthan, remains untouched because it had already been captured by the RSS.

“Why does the PM persist in his hypocrisy of praising Gandhiji abroad, while destroying Gandhian institutions at home? Can he openly admit his admiration for Godse over Gandhi,” Ramesh asked. (PTI)

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