CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, aimed at making India dirt-free, has taken a politically correct nomenclature in Tamil Nadu, where linguistic fervour runs high.
“We are calling it Thooymai Indhiya Iyakkam,” BJP national secretary H Raja told Express. “The party will conduct the campaign at the booth level in all districts of the State,” he said.
On Monday evening, the senior BJP leader launched the campaign in his ‘139’ booth area. Wielding broom sticks, Raja and around 60 party workers began to clean the bus terminus in Vadapalani, which boasts a Murugan temple and many film studios.
As 3,000 people, including shopkeepers, commuters, residents and pedestrians watched curiously, the group collected 20-30 baskets of garbage strewn all over the bus terminus, one of the busiest in the city.
Raja exhorted people to adopt the practice of throwing waste in the dust bin. “The response has been good,” he said. “We will implement the programme in every district where we have a party structure and create awareness among public.”
Describing the cleanliness programme as a good initiative, S Selvanathan (71), a retired bank officer and local resident, said everybody must realise that they too had a stake in it. “If we keep our house and surroundings clean, the country will automatically become clean.”
Asked about BJP’s plans, Raja said the party’s State Council was yet to be convened to ratify the election of Dr Tamilisai Soundarajan as the new party president. “We will discuss our future plans, including the visit of our national president Amit Shah to the State, at the council meeting.”
The senior BJP leader is scheduled to leave for Mumbai on Tuesday for campaigning in the Maharashtra assembly elections.