BJP ropes in Shazia, Sushil Kumar for Swachh campaign

  • Neelam Pandey and Shashank Shekhar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 09, 2014 01:02 IST

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan seems to be grabbing quite a few eyeballs. Grapevine has it that Shazia Ilmi, founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is likely to be included in the BJP’s list of names for the campaign.

A senior BJP leader said wrestler Sushil Kumar, Dr KK Aggarwal, Delhi University V-C Dinesh Singh and a number of other personalities are likely to take part in the cleanliness campaign.

“We have shortlisted 15 names. The nine persons will be invited to participate in the drive on Thursday. We have got the consent from most of the personalities, including Ilmi,” said a senior BJP leader.

Union urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi BJP in-charge Prabhat Jha are likely to participate in the function on Thursday.

Though the BJP chief refused to name the nine personalities, he said those selected by the party are opinion-makers and have a mass appeal.

“This campaign is for the entire country. So naturally, we will involve everyone — be it from other political parties. Our mission is to make the city clean,” said Satish Upadhyay, Delhi BJP chief.

Sources in the BJP said that a few senior leaders were skeptical about involving Ilmi. “In the 15 names we have shortlisted, we have received her consent. But a final decision is yet to be taken but the name could be dropped at the 11th hour,” said a senior BJP leader.

The BJP-led municipal corporations have been told to nominate nine personalities so that the drive reaches each locality. The three mayors and all BJP councillors are busy scanning the list of prominent residents of their localities who can be nominated.

“I have made a list of several people. The list will include celebrities, sportspersons, heads of religious institutions, college heads, NGOs, etc. I have spoken to the head of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. We are yet to get a confirmation,” said Yogender Chandolia, North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Similarly, other mayors and councilors are busy contacting opinion-makers of their areas.

Sanitation workers

Expressing surprise over the prime minister forgetting to mention the most important person in the list of their nine cleanliness ambassadors, AAP has made safai karamchari its brand ambassador. “We are naming this anonymous safai karamchari as the 10th brand ambassador since he inspires us the most to pick up the broom and clean our houses, neighbourhoods and country,” said an AAP spokesperson.

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