Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad outside Shastri Bhawan in New Delhi (Press Trust of India photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "clean India" dream has driven his ministers to the broom.
On Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary October 2, PM Modi will pick up a broom to launch his "Swachh Bharat (clean India)" mission, for which he wants a mass movement.
In a prelude to the grand launch, several ministers have been seen sweeping roads, office corridors and gardens in the presence of cameras. But images of workers purportedly littering the venues before the photo-ops were seized by the opposition Congress.
"Pehle kudha, phir jhadu, phir photo (first litter, then sweep, then photo)," scoffed Congress leader Ajay Maken in a tweet, with images from a newspaper of employees picking up garbage and scattering it artfully before Union Culture Minister Shripad Naik's broom date.
This morning, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad joined his staff in sweeping the corridors of Shastri Bhawan, the headquarters for several ministries.
Education Minister Smriti Irani picked up a broom and shovel at a government-run Kendriya Vidyalaya school on Thursday as part of the cleanliness drive that ends on October 31.
Perhaps for the first time in decades, October 2 will not be a holiday for government employees who have to report to work to take a pledge to work for clean India.
PM Modi said on Tuesday in Bangalore, "I will use the broom and beg citizens for 100 days a year or two hours a week to clean India," he had said earlier this week, adding, "We move into a new house and the first thing we do is cleaning. First the public did the cleaning; now we are doing it."
The railway ministry will also launch its own campaign to keep train stations and platforms clean.