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India polls: Modi vows to clean up Ganges

Published on May 18, 2014 1:16 AM
 
Indian prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, who is holding a tray, performs a religious ritual at the banks of the River Ganges in Varanasi on May 17, 2014. He vows to clean up the holy river Ganges, sacred to millions of Hindus but seeped in filth due to years of apathy and neglect. -- PHOTO: AFP

VARANASI (AFP) - India's prime minister-elect Narendra Modi on Saturday vowed to clean up the holy river Ganges, sacred to millions of Hindus but seeped in filth due to years of apathy and neglect.

The Hindu nationalist leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party - who is set to be sworn in as premier next week - made a fervent plea to the people of Varanasi, the city through which the river flows, to help restore the pristine glory of the Ganges.

"When I see the pitiable condition of the Ganges I feel pained," Modi told his supporters on the banks of the river where he offered prayers as thanksgiving for his party's landslide win in the parliamentary elections.

"The need of the hour is to restore the glory of the Ganges. Today Mother Ganges is calling us... to make the river clean once again," he said to a roaring applause from hundreds of supporters.

 
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