Nominated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the Swachh Bharat campaign, cricketer Suresh Raina and others said they were honoured to be part of the cleanliness drive while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav chose to smile away queries on it.
Modi launched the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi this morning and nominated nine persons to carry forward the drive in UP. Those named by him included Akhilesh, BJP MP and Bhojpuri Singer Manoj Tiwari, Sufi singer Kailash Kher, stand-up comedian Raju Srivastava and cricketers Suresh Raina and Mohd Kaif.
“Cleanliness is a reflection of our civilization. It has started as a dream but we should all make it our own mission,” Raina said. The cricketer said he will join the campaign after the One Day series with Sri Lanka.
“Honoured to be nominated by @PMOIndia for #SwachhtaAbhiyaan. Will take up the endeavour as soon as I’m in Uttar Pradesh after ODI series,” Raina tweeted.
When queried by reporters at the Chief Minister’s office in Lucknow about his nomination by Modi to join cleanliness drive, Akhilesh, however, only smiled and left.
The Chief Minister had often taken swipe at Modi during the bitterly fought Lok Sabha elections in which Samajwadi Paty suffered a debacle.
Raju Srivastava said it was a proud moment for him that the Prime Minister had attached his name with the campaign while singer Kailash Kher said it was the duty of every countryman to maintain cleanliness.
“Yathaa Raja Tathaa Praja (Like ruler, Like ruled), @PMOIndia @narendramodi Thank you for nominating n showing faith in Me. for #SwachhBharatMission Proud to be part (sic),”
Kher said on Twitter “So happy 2 have namo’s invitation, i think so alike about cleanliness, this will strengthen my wish and willingness about this mission,” he said.
“Own your country. Show that you care about it,” he said.
The PM said that like in Delhi, where he had launched the campaign by nominating nine celebrities, he had chosen an equal number of renowned persons in UP to carry forward the drive.
The remaining three persons nominated by the PM were founder and Chancellor of the University for the Blind at Chitrakoot, Swami Rambhadracharya, noted Sanskrit scholar Devi Prasad Dwivedi and writer Manu Sharma, best known for his book Krishn Ki Atmakatha (autobiography of Lord Krishna).