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Should introspect if Clean India campaign doesn't have desired momentum: PM Modi on Gandhi Jayanti

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Raj Ghat in New Delhi on October 2. Photograph: (ANI)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 02, 2017, 01.50 AM (IST)

Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, politicians cutting across party lines paid tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial on his 148th birth anniversary today.

PM Modi, whose cleanliness drive, the "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" completes three years today, said a clean India was possible only if 125 crore countrymen came together.  "Cleanliness is Godliness" had been the mantra of Mahatma Gandhi's life.

The Indian PM also said that issues such as cleanliness and hygiene should not be politicised, adding that cleanliness had to be seen through the prism of women.

He also asked everyone to introspect if the campaign was not achieving the desired momentum. 

"Society, media supported Clean India. Should introspect if the campaign is not receiving the desired momentum, notwithstanding this support," PM Modi said.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu, former prime minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh and BJP veteran leader LK Advani were the first to arrive at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial, Raj Ghat in New Delhi early morning.

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On Twitter, PM Modi also posted videos to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and that of India's second prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

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The Indian prime minister, the President, vice president and Manmohan Singh paid tribute to Lal Bahadur Shastri at his memorial, Vijay Ghat.

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Gandhi Jayanti will be marked by cleanliness drives to promote the "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', a flagship mission of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which aims at making people aware about the advantages of cleanliness.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will launch 'Swachchata-ni 60-Minutes', a mass campaign for cleanliness today as part of 'Swachch Bharat Mission', alongside the Social Equanimity Week.

He will also lay the foundation stone or inaugurate various capital works for Porbandar totalling Rs 46.78 crore.

The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had launched the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' on October 2, 2014 with a vision of achieving 'Clean India' by 2019.

Prime Minister Modi has appointed several ambassadors from various walks of public life and assigned them the job of inspiring and motivating their fellow countrymen to keep India clean.

The drive to make India Open Defecation Free (ODF) is one of the key parameters in the cleanliness drive. The central and state governments have been constructing toilets and urinals in the remotest areas of the country.

School students countrywide will also participate in the cleanliness drives to pay homage to the Father of the Nation.

Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, and died on January 30, 1948.

The Indian political and spiritual leader, popularly known as Bapu, played a key role in the Indian independence movement. He the novel technique of non-violent agitation, which he called "Satyagraha".

He is known for his non-violent civil disobedience in India and South Africa. These included the non-cooperation movement in 1922 and the 1930 Salt Satyagraha or Dandi March.

Through Mahatma Gandhi's efforts, India finally gained its freedom on August 15, 1947. The nation mourned for him after he was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Non-Violence is also held on October 2 each year to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi's birthday.

Lal Bahadur Shastri joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. He died on January 11, 1966.

The former prime minister died in Tashkent, a day after he signed the Tashkent Declaration, reportedly due to a heart attack. Many allege a conspiracy behind his death.

He was the first prime minister of India to die overseas. 

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