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Govt’s cleanliness drive a publicity stunt, says BJP MP

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Bahraich (UP), Oct 5: The nation might feel ecstatic every time Prime Minister Narendra Modi invites contribution for Swachch Bharat cleanliness drive but there is one leader from the PM's own Bharatiya Janata Party who is little convinced about it.

Govt’s cleanliness drive a publicity stunt, says BJP MP

Savitri Bai Phule, the Dalit MP from Bahraich, recently refused to take a broom during a cleanliness drive on the occasion of the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations on October 2. The 37-year-old politician, who became the MP from Bahraich for the first time in 2014, defeating his nearest opponent by over 95,000 votes, said the 'Bahujan Samaj' will no longer hold the broom. She said this when invited to attend the cleanliness drive near Jhinghaghat at Nanpara bus stand. She even called such events as publicity stunts adding that people belonging to the marginalised sections required employment and social security and respect. She also said that the cleanliness drive was a propaganda to divert the attention from burning issues.

Also Read | In PICS: Swachhata Hi Seva: PM Modi cleans school premises in Delhi

"I am an elected Member of Parliament from a reserved seat. If I just hold the broom, will this place get cleaned," Hindustan Times quoted her as saying.

"I don't want to just pose for the drive so I did not hold the broom."

Phule, formerly associated with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, joined politics as a teenager and later shifted to the BJP and won on its ticket. But she has always been a vocal leader and never stopped short of expressing her mind on issues.

Also Read | Villages the soul of the country says Narendra Modi

There have been a number of instances when Phule spoke against her own party leaders. One such instance was when she said that the trend of senior party leaders dining at Dalit households was aimed at electoral gains. She has also alleged that during such events, food and utensils are brought from outside. The food is being brought from outside and yet pictures of ministers and MLAs at Dalit homes are posted and shared on social media.

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