Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today appealed the people to "gift" Mahatma Gandhi a clean Gujarat on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.
The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate was speaking at the Mahatma Gandhi Swacchata (cleanliness) Mission and e-Nagar project of the state Government at Mahatma Mandir here.
"In 2019, 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will be celebrated. This is not a small event. A man of the century was born on our earth. Why shouldn't we take inspiration from him? What will we gift him? We should gift him his most favourite thing," he said.
Modi said cleanliness was very dear to Mahatma Gandhi and at each and every step of his life, he gave much importance to it. "The 6.5 crore Gujaratis will take this pledge of cleanliness and we will make Gujarat clean, so that Gandhi will want to reincarnate here."
He said a clean and healthy society would also inspire the nation-building process, and other cities and states would follow the initiatives.
"We will have to take this initiative as a movement and who else but Gandhi can become our inspiration. His views are so relevant even today....Gandhi was propagator of cleanliness throughout his life," he said.
Modi also lamented that "our mothers and sisters" have no access to closed toilets. "We talk about 'nari-sanman' and 'nari-gaurav', (so) we should empathise with those who have to defecate in the open. We must make a commitment that nobody will defecate in the open," he said.
Speaking about the e-governance initiatives of the state government, he said e-governance saves paper and the jungles.
"Let's move towards paperless office. Our dream is to make a digital India, and we will start from Gujarat. 21st century will be known as the virtual century...(soon) people will find everything on the virtual world, without going to the malls.
There would be digital manufacturing," he said. Take a jibe at the UPA government, he said, "2G was defamed due to some reasons, but now we have reached 4G."
Modi, while announcing e-governance policies for five municipalities and launching other related schemes, maintained that he was not doing this with elections in mind.
"What news media will get from this event? They will say as the elections are coming Modi has launched a bunch of schemes. But this is not true. As the model code of conduct will come into force in a few days, we will not be able to do these