Bharatiya Janata Party MP Savitri Bai Phule has described the government’s cleanliness drive on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti as a “publicity stunt”, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.

The legislator refused to participate in an awareness drive organised by the Bahraich Regional Transport Office on Monday, reported Zee News. There, she refused to pick up the broom and ordered officials of the transport department to clean the place instead. “I do not want to just pose for the drive, so I did not hold the broom,” Phule told the newspaper.

The people of “Bahujan Samaj” will no longer wield brooms and participate in cleanliness drives, Phule said, adding that poor Muslims and those from Scheduled Caste communities need employment, security and social respect. The need of the hour was not to wield brooms but equal rights and equal opportunity, the parliamentarian added.

She alleged that the cleanliness drive was carried out to divert people’s attention from other pressing matters. “The executive and the legislature should first have a clean heart towards society,” she said, challenging officials involved in the drive to enter drains and clean them.

Phule said those opposed to reservation and the Constitution should clean waste and garbage instead of the economically weaker sections and the marginalised.

The parliamentarian said she has instructed concerned officials to clean the district. “I am an elected Member of Parliament from a reserved seat,” she said. “If I just hold the broom, will this place get cleaned?”

Earlier this year, Phule said there was a conspiracy to end reservations and the Centre was doing nothing about it. She said the backward classes in the country will not be represented properly in society if reservation is scrapped.