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At Champaran, Modi lashes out at opposition parties 

Motihari (East Champaran), Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised his rivals on Tuesday for using “divisive politics” out of their frustration at his National Democratic Alliance’s “pro-poor policies”.

Addressing an assembly of volunteers of the Swachh Bharat Mission, Modi said: “They are having problems with our efforts to improve the lot of the poor and weaker sections of society”.

This was Modi’s first public meeting after a stormy Budget Session, the second half of which was washed out due to protests by opposition parties, and even allies like the Shiv Sena, on several issues, among them the PNB banking scam and demands for special status to Andhra Pradesh.

The meeting also comes in the back of seemingly growing Dalit disaffection, fallout of which was a bloody violence witnessed in some parts of the country on April 2.

“There are some people who are trying to create hurdles to the government from Parliament to the streets,” Modi said at an event to mark the centenary year celebrations of MK Gandhi Champaran satyagraha on April 10, 1917.

He complemented ally-turned-enemy-turned-ally Janata Dal (United) on its development policies.

“I appreciate the towards development works undertaken by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in spite of disruptive efforts against them by anti-social elements,” he said, adding that the state government under Nitish Kumar had the full support of his own government at the Centre.

The Prime Minister also asked elected representatives use events connected with iconic figures, such as social reformer Jyotirba Phule and Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, to push the government’s cleanliness campaign.

He also used the platform to announce that his government was going to launch the ‘Gram Swaraj Abhiyan’ from April 14—the birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said thatcentral government’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ kept with Gandhi’s mission. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, president of NDA ally Lok Janashakti Party, criticised the Congress for stoking caste and religious fires in the country, and called their hunger strike at the national capital a “farce”.

Tuesday’s event, organised by the central government’s ministry if drinking water and sanitation in collaboration with the Bihar government, was a culmination of a weeklong “Champaran Chalo” campaign undertaken by Swachhgrahis across the country.

Champaran was divided into two districts—east and west—after the country’s independence in 1947. The area where Gandhi launched his crusade is located in the present East Champaran, with Motihari as the district headquarter town.

The event was organised by Union Drinking Water and Sanitation and Bihar government.The government has invested the Swachh Bharat drive with slogan “Satyagrah se Swachhgrah” ( from Satyagrah- urge for truth- to urge for cleanliness.

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