This Article is From Dec 26, 2014

A Working Christmas For Politicians and Bureaucrats

Many ministers picked up brooms to take part in the Clean India campaign

New Delhi: From the launch of e-auction process for coal allocations and other online initiatives, to celebrating 14 years of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government marked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 90th birthday as 'Good Governance Day' on Thursday.

Mr Modi was himself in his constituency of Varanasi, continuing with his Swacch Bharat campaign, with BJP leaders across the country lending a hand.

With many events planned across the nation, it turned out to be a working Christmas for mantris and bureaucrats. It was the second working holiday after the Swacch Bharat campaign that was kicked off on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary on October 2. The government, though, insists that it was all voluntary.

At the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, headquarters of the Civil Aviation Ministry where more than 1500 people are employed, barely 50 officials turned up for the function to mark 'Good Governance Day'.

"Merry Christmas! The governments world over, including ours, are trying to cut red tape," Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju said.

But not everyone warmed up to the idea of celebrating 'Good Governance Day' on Christmas, with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee even saying "everyday is good governance day."

"My birthday wishes also to Vajpayeeji on his 90th birthday. I'm sure he'd want us to mark Good Governance the whole year, not hijack Xmas day," tweeted Congress leader RPN Singh.

Many in the BJP consider Mr Vajpayee's tenure as an example of managing a tough coalition and running a successful government. But celebrating his birthday as 'Good Governance Day' means there's no escaping the controversies that have come with it.