Congress move to make Ganga national river half-hearted: BJP

November 5th, 2008 - 11:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday slammed the Congress-led government’s move to declare the Ganga the national river as “half-hearted”, coming just before the polls. “Such an announcement right before elections does not matter because they had put the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government’s river linking project in cold storage. That would have helped in harnessing Ganga’s water throughout the country,” said party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Tuesday announced that the Ganga would be declared India’s first national river with a separate river basin authority to monitor its cleanliness in the states through which it flows.

Manmohan Singh referred to the special place the Ganga has in the hearts and minds of all Indians and stated that this emotional link needs to be recognised.

Javadekar said the Congress could not be trusted on the “faith factor” as the party had “questioned the existence of (Lord) Ram and are bent upon breaking the Ram Setu”.

Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is a chain of limestone shoals in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. Many Hindus believe it was built during Lord Ram’s era to facilitate his journey from southern India to Sri Lanka.

The government last month told the Supreme Court that the Ram Setu is not an “essential and integral part of Hindu religion”, reviving its contentious stance on the construction of a shipping channel in the area.

Javadekar said that even if the government’s step to make the Ganga the national river was just for the purpose of cleaning it, “they haven’t announced any step related to that”.

He added: “It seems half-hearted.”

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