Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday highlighted the “pathetic condition” of the health sector in “doctor-ruled” Meghalaya to stress why the State needs to bring in change.
The ‘doctor’ was in reference to Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul M. Sangma, a medical practitioner who was once a health officer in Garo Hills before joining politics to eventually head a Congress-led coalition government.
Addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party rally at Phulbari in Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills district, Mr. Modi rattled off the names of beneficiary schemes sanctioned for Meghalaya but “not utilised for the poor.”
“We provided more than ₹100 crore to Meghalaya for construction of 21,000 houses for the poor. It was not only unable to build the houses but claimed work was in progress. The ₹500 crore given for National Health Mission has also been untilised,” he said.
This, Mr Modi said, was unexpected from a doctor (Mr. Sangma). “Healthcare in Meghalaya is in bad shape even though the chief minister is a doctor. Are there any doctors and medicines in villages? Women are scared of going to hospitals, so they deliver babies at home at risk to their lives,” he said.
Criticising the Congress-led government for failure on the law and order front, the Prime Minister said the current government had wasted 50 years of the people.
“This government does not work without commission, and because of such governments the Centre gets a bad name,” he added.
Mr. Modi played on the name of the place to drive home his point of having a BJP government in Meghalaya for working together with the NDA government at the Centre. “ Jis Meghalaya mein Phulbari ho, phool ki hi baari honi chahiye (The lotus – BJP symbol – must get a chance in a State with a place named Phulbari),” he said.
Phulbari is one of five general seats in Meghalaya. The BJP candidate here is Binoy Kumar Ghosh.
Before Phulbari, the Prime Minister’s addressed a rally at Tuensang in Nagaland, where the BJP has a pre-poll alliance with Nationalist Democratic Progressive Alliance (NDPP), a new regional party.
Mr. Modi focused on development and Central schemes that could change the face of Nagaland. He outlined schemes such as National Health Insurance, National Health Mission and housing for poor sanctioned for the state.