Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor Saturday launched a cleanliness drive, asking "why cede Gandhiji’s sanitation drive to any party" even after losing the post of party spokesman for tagging along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Clean Indian Campaign.
The Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha member launched the drive at the Kovalam beach.
Later, he tweeted on his micro blogging site, "Before my actions today are distorted: a clean India requires no label. Why cede Gandhiji’s sanitation drive to any party? A national cause."
Tharoor and a few other Congress workers and representatives of local bodies held brooms and took to the job of cleaning streets. Tharoor said, “Vizhinjam is a splendid beach. We will not allow it to become a dumping yard.”
"I am a Congressman and my ideology is there should be clean surroundings. I first arrived in this city when I was 10 years and at that time even after heavy rains, the city used to be clean due to the excellent drainage facility. But today, urban planning has failed and the place here has become like a sewage dump," said Tharoor.
Tharoor said it was Mahatma Gandhi who said sanitation is more important than independence.
"Cleanliness is a national programme… not the programme of any particular party," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had nominated Tharoor to spread the message of a clean India. But, after he accepted Modi’s challenge and thanked him for making him a part of the nationwide campaign, Tharoor was removed from the party spokesperson’s post two weeks ago.
The Congress leaders in Kerala had complained to the party high command saying Tharoor’s praise of Modi demoralised party workers who worked against the BJP.
However, according to reports, no senior leader has taken part in the launch of cleanliness drive on Saturday.
(With inputs from IANS)