In what appears to be an attempt to keep the Swachch Bharat campaign non-partisan and “beyond politics”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have instructed officials not to use his pictures in the print or visual advertisements of the cleanliness drive.
The PM was said to have stressed that the ads should carry Mahatma Gandhi’s pictures instead.
“We should create so much awareness in people that they start hating dirt,” Modi reportedly told senior officials ahead of the campaign launch. The Congress Thursday sought to play down the campaign with senior leader Rajiv Shukla saying that the idea had been given by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress has been doing it.
Modi’s instruction regarding use of Gandhi’s photos could be an answer to such veiled criticism. A four-minute film on sanitation, made days before the PM passed specific instructions, also focuses predominantly on Gandhi.
Official sources said that although the PM has launched the campaign with a lot of fanfare, he remained anxious about the follow up. “The PM said that the more challenging job was to ensure people’s participation in this campaign. That is why there is so much stress on awareness drives, including the move to involve nine eminent personalities,” said a source privy to the PM’s meeting on this issue.