Days after Rahul Gandhi claimed “there is no democracy in India”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday took a dig at the Congress leader saying that those who are blocking local body polls in Puducherry are trying to give him lessons in democracy.
PM Modi said that even after the Supreme Court has directed that panchayati and municipal elections should be conducted in Puducherry, the state is not conducting it. “Despite SC order, panchayat and municipal polls not being held in Puducherry. Those in power in Puducherry not carrying out local polls and are giving me lessons in democracy. Those who keep on teaching me lessons in democracy are the ones who are running their government there,” he said.
And referring to the recently held DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir, he said people’s participation in huge numbers in the polls has made it a moment of pride for India. The Prime Minister was speaking at the launch of Ayushman Bharat scheme in J&K.
“The people of J&K have voted for strengthening democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. People of all walks of life came out and voted for development in DDC elections. Jammu and Kashmir has won Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of ‘gram swaraj’,” he said.
“There was a time, we were a part of the Jammu and Kashmir government but we broke the alliance. Our issue was that the panchayat elections should be held and people be given their due rights to choose their representatives.”
PM Modi also took a swipe at Congress saying that a “big mistake” of those who were in power for decades in the country was ignoring development of border regions. “Border shelling has always been a matter of concern. The work on the construction of bunkers in borders areas including Samba, Poonch and Kathua is being done at a fast pace.”
On the Ayushman Bharat scheme, he said it will ensure universal health coverage and quality and affordable essential health services to all. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Union Territory’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, also spoke on the occasion.
The scheme will provide free-of-cost insurance cover to all residents of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, the PMO said, adding that it will extend financial cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family on a floater basis to all residents of the UT.
There is provision for operational extension of the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana’ (PM-JAY) to approximately 15 lakh additional families, the PMO statement said, adding that the scheme will operate on insurance mode in convergence with PM-JAY.
The benefits of the scheme will be portable across the country. The hospitals empanelled under the PM-JAY scheme shall provide services under this scheme as well, the PMO said.
(With PTI inputs)