Haridwar: Continuing her fast for the third day demanding review of construction of hydro power projects on river Ganga, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti has alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could not give a positive response on the holy river issue.

“Even though talks over Ganga issue were held with the PM, but his attitude towards Ganga didn’t appear to be positive,” said the former firebrand BJP leader while speaking to the mediapersons.

“The Prime Minister being the head of the Ganga Basin Authority has a significant role in Ganga related issues,” Bharti said adding, “The PM had a discussion over the Ganga issue on April 4, and had maintained to continue the talks. However, neither there was any discussion held nor he took any interest to initiate talks.”

She said though a budget of Rs 700 crore has been sanctioned for ‘save Ganga campaign’, but no framework for the expenditure has been outlined so far.

On being asked over the initiative by the Centre or state government to resolve the issue, Uma said she welcomes anybody coming forward to save Ganga.

Meanwhile, the priest community on Thursday came in full support for her agitation. National spokesperson of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, Hathyogi Digambar along with Jagadguru Ramanandcharya Swami Hansdevacharya reached Divya Prem Sewa Mission on Thursday and extended support to Uma’s campaign.

Uma began her fast on Tuesday demanding review of all the hydropower projects being developed on river Ganga in Himalayan region and calling for saving Dhari Devi Temple.

Uttarakhand Minister flays Uma

Taking a swipe over Uma’s agitation, Uttarakhand Food and Supply Minister Diwakar Bhatt on Thursday said, “While country is battling with problems like terrorism and Naxalism and instead of paying heed to tackle those major challenges, people are hindering the development path of a smaller state like Uttarakhand.”

Speaking to the mediapersons, Bhatt said that hydropower and tourism is a major source of the state’s economy. In such a scenario, protesting against hydropower projects is similar to hindering the state’s development.

“There is no threat to river Ganga, but generation of hydro electricity will benefit the country. Ganga is getting polluted beyond Haridwar. Had Uma fought for the Ganga outside the pilgrimage city, she would have got enough success,” he said.

“As far as the continuous flow of the river is concerned, why she didn’t raise her voice when much damage was being caused to the Ganga from Tihari dam five years back,” Bhatt quizzed.

JPN/Bureau