Would have left Ganga clean-up mission but for Anil Dave: Uma Bharti

HOSHANGABAD: Union water resources minister Uma Bharti, who is heading a specially created ministry for cleaning of the holy river Ganga along with her ministry, was about to leave the mission six months ago. She was frustrated owing to the cumbersome nature of the task. When she was on the verge of taking the exit route, it was the former Union minister of state for environment, Anil Dave, who helped her to come out of the frustration and motivated her to keep going. Uma Bharti gave this information during the last rites of Dave at Bandrabhan in Hoshangabad on Friday.

Bharti, who had spearheaded the ‘Save Ganga’ campaign, was assigned with a specially created ministry for cleaning the holy river along with the water resources ministry by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had promised to cleanse the river during campaigning in Varanasi for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Bharti said, “I was frustrated owing to several obstacles in my way, while performing the task of cleaning the river Ganga. I had shared the gigantic nature of the task with Dave and he did the magic.”

Bharti said: “Dave asked me why I was leaving the mission midway. I told him that I wanted to go the Himalayas and the task of cleaning the Ganga was something that I could not possibly handle. After listening to me quietly for almost two to three hours, he asked me a few questions.”

Narrating the incident, Bharti said, “Dave told me that I would face several problems in the Himalayas and cleaning the river Ganga was an easier task. He said I must work for the people and complete the mission of cleaning the holy river.”

Since then, Bharti has never looked back as far as mission of cleaning the Ganga is concerned. “My respect for him could be gauged from the fact that when I was not in the party, it was Anil Dave whom I used to meet and interact on a regular basis. He used to invite me to his home for lunch and I felt our relationship was that of a father and daughter,” said Bharti.

Bharti claimed Dave had played a major role in the launching of the Ganga cleaning mission. Bharti also said that it was Dave who helped her win the 2003 elections with a massive margin of two lakh votes. “I was elected the chief minister after the 2003 elections owing to his efforts. He was my mentor, father figure and meant a lot to me,” said Bharti.