Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not intend to make the Ganga a BJP poll plank in the high-voltage Uttar Pradesh assembly elections and the party will instead focus on highlighting "corruption" of SP and BSP, Union minister Uma Bharti said on Friday.
"The issue of the Ganga is such that all political parties, the media and people of all castes and communities are involved in it. Hence, we are not going to make it a part of any political agenda. "The Prime Minister does not intend to do so. He has always told me that the Ganga is beyond politics. Hence, the river is not going to be a political issue in UP polls," she said on the sidelines of the third edition of Jal Manthan conference in the Capital.
Reminded of BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha polls commitment that it will ensure cleanliness of the holy river, the Union water resources minister said the government is already working on the Namami Gange programme.
"In Uttar Pradesh, crime and corruption, which have hit the state very hard, are going to be the key issues. Graft and crime have engulfed the state under SP and BSP regimes. People will vote based on these two issues," she said.
The NDA government, which intends to clean the Ganga by 2018, had two years ago told the Supreme Court that it will not make the river a poll issue going into the 2019 general elections. The country's largest state with 403 assembly segments goes to polls in seven phases stretched between February 11 and March 8.