Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has laughed off the Congress' claim that the new Kamal Nath-led government has managed to clean up the Shipra river in Ujjain in just five days.
The Madhya Pradesh Congress sparked the exchange by posting a video of the river-front, writing a political attack on the Central government's own efforts to clean up the holy Ganga river as per their 2014 election manifesto.
The Congress wrote:
"Let those who fib about cleaning up the Ganga take one look at this
Kamal Nath had promised to clean up the Shipra river in Ujjain and in merely five days, the results are before you.
In the name of cleaning up the Ganga thousands of crores have been wasted - let them come to Ujjain, see and learn."
The visuals show quite a clean riverfront. First and foremost, the river is brimming with water, and the ghats and approach areas are paved with tiles and not merely muddy banks. On the whole it does look quite appealing.
However, Shivraj Singh Chouhan doesn't appear to be too concerned with the Congress making such a point. He's replied with an emoji - indicating that he thinks the claim is laughable. He hasn't, however, gone into details of why he thinks this.
Since demitting the office of Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh after about 13 years, Shivraj Singh has regularly employed Twitter to attack his successors. On the recent controversy over the Kamal Nath government moving to discontinue singing of the National Song on the first working day of every month in front of state Secretariat Vallabh Bhawan, Chouhan posted a comment on a video shared by a BJP spokesperson where Rahul Gandhi appeared fidgety while the National Song was playing in Parliament.
In terms of cleaning up the Ganga, the Nemami Gange is a flagship initiative of the Modi government, with Nitin Gadkari being one of the empowered authorities working towards it. Speaking at the Republic Summit, Gadkari had said that 10-15% of the work towards this had been completed (December 2018). He expressed confidence, however, that by March 2019, 70-80% of the Ganga would be cleaned and by March 2020, all of it would be cleaned. The added that the Ganga's tributaries, including the Yamuna were also being cleaned up.