PM Narendra Modi honouring sanitation workers last month. (File)
- PM Modi donated Rs 21 lakh for welfare of Kumbh Mela sanitation workers
- He also donated Seoul Peace Prize Money and auctioned his gifts
- BJP has long portrayed PM as a selfless worker; opposition counters it
Days after he was seen paying his respects to sanitation workers by washing their feet on national television, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office on Wednesday announced that he has donated Rs 21 lakh from his personal savings to the corpus fund for the welfare of those who toiled at the Kumbh Mela.
Last month, after a dip at the Sangam in Prayagraj for the Kumbh Mela, Prime Minister Narendra Modi washed and wiped clean the feet of five "safai karmcharis" who had won the "Swachh Kumbh Swachh Aabhaar" award - an acknowledgement for the efforts to keep the grounds clean. Kumbh Mela, a timeless tradition sees millions coming to take a dip at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. In view of the crowd, keeping the mela grounds clean is a challenging task.
Dubbing the sanitation workers "karmayogis" (saints focussed on work), he said, "These safai karamcharis were my brothers and sisters who were waking up early, sleeping late, all to ensure the cleanliness of the area. They did not want any praise but they were doing their jobs without any fuss". The moment, he said, "would stay with me for my life".
Today, sharing a number of instances of the PM raising and donating money, the Prime Minister's Office tweeted, "This is just the latest in the series of such steps taken by PM Modi."
The BJP has long portrayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a selfless worker who does not use his position and clout to amass wealth. In December 2016, weeks after announcing demonetisation as a move to curb corruption, the Prime Minister had delivered one of his most iconic lines at a political rally, saying, "I'm just like a fakir. Will walk on with just my jhola (bag)."
The opposition, however, has countered this narrative, accusing his government of egregious crony capitalism, favouring industrialists perceived close to him, and boosting the election war chest of the BJP which has built the world's biggest office by any political group in the heart of Delhi.