My Press Briefing Highlights 24 August 2018




 Highlights of the Press Briefing 24 August 2018

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, MP, Spokesperson, AICC addressed the media at AICC Hdqrs. today.

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said – A fresh RTI has revealed that the pollution levels in river Ganga are higher than the levels recorded back in 2014 when the Modi Govt launched its most ambitious ‘NamamiGange’ initiative. Particularly in PM Modi’s constituency, Varanasi- lab tests have found that bacterial contamination is now higher than the levels recorded back in 2014.

Flashback 2014; when BJP’s PM candidate was taking pledge to save the mighty Ganges by invoking dramatic emotions in a heart wrenching tone. A reminder of his previous statements and promises:-

20 Dec 2013

“People want answers from those who misled the nation in the name of Ganga. Those who cannot care for the Ganga cannot care for the nation!

Condition of Ganga is pitiable. For others, Ganga may be a river but for us Ganga is our Mother. Ganga is an integral part of our culture.”

Apr 24, 2014

While filing his nomination, Shri Narendra Modi said, “First I thought the BJP sent me here, then I thought I am going to Kashi, but after I came here, I feel Maa Ganga has called me. I feel like a child who has returned to his mother’s lap.”

May 3, 2014

“Ganga’s condition is worrisome. Contaminated water is a threat to children. We want to change it. It’s not about politics but about humanity.”

May 18, 2014

“I was stopped from talking to you during campaigning, but even then you made me victorious… There is a huge potential for development in Varanasi. I vow to make the city and Ganga clean,”

“I did not come to Varanasi of my own volition, but Ma Ganga called me.”

“Now, it is time to do my bit for Ma Ganga,” Modi said. He further repeated, “Ma Ganga is waiting for her son to free her from pollution,”

May 24, 2014

“I will represent Varanasi in Lok Sabha & I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve Ganga Maa& work for Varanasi’s development.”

Facts cut through the fog and the sheer betrayal of Shri Modi’s promises has been exposed, as the ‘NamamiGange’ project miserably falters :-

  1. Till date, under NamamiGangeprogramme, a total of 221 projects have been sanctioned for various activities such as the treatment of municipal sewage, treatment of industrial effluent, river surface cleaning, etc. at a total cost of Rs 22,238.73 crore, out of which 58 projects have been completed. This means an additional Rs 2,238.73 crore has been sanctioned towards the allocated fund and more than one and half year is still to go. Only one fourth of the sanctioned projects are complete.


  1. A majority of sanctioned and completed projects under NamamiGange are sewage treatment plants (STPs). Till date, NamamiGange had created only 329.3 million litres per day of the 2,278.08 mild sewage treatment capacities it aimed for. Total of only 26 projects has been completed so far.” Here too, only one fourth of the sanctioned projects have been completed.


  1. In May 2018, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had set March 2019 as the new deadline to clean river Ganga and ensure a “70 to 80 per cent” improvement in its water quality.With only one fourth of sanctioned projects being completed till August 2018, how can the government achieve this miracle in the next 6-7 months?Cleaning the Ganga was one of the major poll promises of the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Going by the government’s own status report, it looks very unlikely that it will be able to fulfil its promise.


  1. Earlier, a CAG report has revealed that during 2016-17, the level of pollutants in the river across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal was six to 334 times higher than the prescribed levels.


  1. In 2016, the National Green Tribunal came down heavily onthe BJP led Uttar Pradesh government for allowing dead bodies to be dumped in the Ganga.


  1. An Anguished Supreme Court had also echoed the same when they said- ‘Will Ganga be cleaned in this century?’

The slurries, the gurgle dark black sewage into the Ganga, littered with plastic, carcasses and trash, the indescribable stink kicks up from this toxic cocktail that also hides germs passed through human and animal excrements in Varanasi sings the sordid saga of utter neglect by the Modi Government. People of Varanasi and people of the Gangetic plains Maa Ganga shall never forgive and forget how PM, Shri Narendra Modi has betrayed them. Only few months are left and people of India shall give a befitting reply to the BJP.

While filing his nomination, Shri Narendra Modi said, “First I thought the BJP sent me here, then I thought I am going to Kashi, but after I came here, I feel Maa Ganga has called me. I feel like a child who has returned to his mother’s lap.”

On a question related to Doklam and Demonetization Shri Singhvi said – As far as the first part is concerned, has Shri Rahul Gandhi said wrong? Anybody here can tell me Doklam, any inch – not every, any inch of territory area occupied by Chinese has been vacated. I am challenging you and the Government, you to it. Just a few weeks ago, we had a report that despite the meetings between the Chinese and the Defence Minister, the Chinese have not moved anywhere, so what wrong he thinks. Second – demonetization objection – the RBI is being skipped; the Chief Economic Adviser being skipped, the entire Cabinet being skipped. It is the worst kept secret? Not even the Government has said anytime, we have been repeating this from last, whatever 2016.

Mr. Jaitley was joked upon in the Rajya Sabha saying that had he been told, one of the leading Member of the Rajya Sabha said that had he been told, he might have discussed in Gup-Shup interview with somebody. So he had not told. Mr. Jaitley was sitting in the House, when I was there. So not the Finance Minister, not the Chief Economic Adviser, not the RBI Governor, then who are the institutions who have been involved. Obviously, there is some biggest mega remote control in the world as far as this Government is concerned. It is a natural inference.

On a question about WhatsApp encryption, Shri Singhvi said– I do not want to speak for any private entity but I am asking you a common sensible question from each one of you. Will you use Whatsapp if there is no end to end encryption message? At least I will throw it in the dustbin. Is it possible to say that your right to privacy, his right to privacy, her right to privacy, my right to privacy is compromised voluntarily by a WhatsApp application and wind up its application? So the Congress Party stands very strongly and straight forwardly for the autonomy of the individual. The Congress Party stands very clearly for the privacy of the individual and this has been our stand prior to Puttu Swamy judgment. Now we have no less than the largest Bench of the Supreme Court in recent times declaring this right affirmatively. Now in the face of that right, just to play to the gallery, the Government of India is asking an application voluntarily to give up its end to end encryption. So it is like saying you might have to close down the WhatsApp. So this is nothing but “Jumlebaazi”.


(Vineet Punia)


Communication Deptt.





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