New Delhi, March 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been hailed for his Swachh Bharat campaigns. But history shows that Manohar Parrikar, the Defence Minister and the former Chief Minister of Goa, was way ahead of the PM in introducing similar kind of campaign.
According to old data, Parrikar, shortly after assuming charge as Goa CM for the first time in 2001, had issued a notification to all bureaucrats in the state, making it mandatory to come to office on Oct 2 -- Gandhi Jayanti.
Parrikar had made it compulsory for all bureaucrats to clean their office premises on Gandhi Jayanti, 13 years before Modi launched his Swachch Bharat campaign in 2014.
Modi, shortly after assuming Prime Minister Office (PMO), too had asked government employees to clean their offices and surrounding areas on Oct 2. [Modi Shocker: No holiday this Gandhi Jayanti on Oct 2!]
Protest in Goa in 2011:
While Modi's decision was hailed by many, Parrikar had faced protest in Goa. The state government, which had dropped Gandhi Jayanti and Good Friday from the list of official holidays in 2011, triggered protests in Goa.
According to reports, in view of the civil dissent against the decision, the notification was kept in abeyance and then subsequently withdrawn.
Thirteen years after the controversy, once again the state has been facing similar kind of situation when Gandhi Jayanti has been dropped from the state's holiday list, yet again. [After Gandhi Jayanti row, RSS says necessary to reduce number of holidays]
Congress leader PC Chacko criticised Goa government's move and asked, "Can any state government take a decision like this? This kind of decision is anti-national."
Printing mistake or a mischief by someone, says Goa CM
However, Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar described it as a "printing mistake or a mischief by someone", and said Oct 2 will remain a holiday. Parsekar was quoted as saying, "The entire day, a controversy has been raging on the matter. Let me clarify, no such decision has been taken by me."
"It could be a printing mistake or a mischief by someone. Gandhi Jayanti will continue to be a public holiday," Parsekar added. Meanwhile, sources informed that the current notification was issued in 2014 when Parrikar was still holding the reins of the state government.