BJP to begin Namami Gange Yatra on Vajpayee’s birthday

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) The BJP has decided to launch “Namami Gange Yatra” along the river’s course from its origin-point Gaumukh in Uttarakhand to Gangasagar in West Bengal — where it meets the Bay of Bengal — from December 25, the birthday of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“We will begin Namami Gange Yatra from Gomukh on the 91st birth anniversary of Atal ji,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and convenor of the Namami Gange committee Trivendra Rawat told IANS.

Namami Gange Committee was constituted by BJP national president Amit Shah.

“Although the Yatra will begin from Gomukh, it will proceed further through river route from Haridwar till the end of Gangasagar in West Bengal, where it meets the Indian Ocean,” he said, adding during the course Yatra would take road route wherever it was felt necessary.

BJP has also decided to organise a series of events, including workshops with priests, cultural evenings and seminars.

Rawat said the Namami Gange Committee has also decided to celebrate the day of Kartik Chaturdashi as Ganga Raksha Sankalp Diwas (Ganga Protection Pledge Day) for keeping the river clean.

Party has also planned to hold “Ek Sham Swachch Ganga Ke Naam” cultural programmes in a total of 1,619 villages along the river’s course.

Rawat said that the process of setting up Namami Gange committees in 1,618 villages was in process.

“From November 14 to November 25, we will be organising conferences for priests, those associated with the holy river Ganga as they play a big role in the way the faithful deal with the river,” he said.

The Yatra will begin once Bihar elections’ results are out on November 8.

The Yatra also holds a political significance, as the Ganga flows through states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttarakhand. Except Bihar the other three states are scheduled to undergo polls in 2017 and they are currently being ruled by non-BJP governments.

The union government’s Namami Gange project, approved in May this year, has been allocated Rs.20,000 crore over the next five years.

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