Sangma flays Modi for making official programme a BJP rally
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Dec 17: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Sunday expressed his surprise on the Prime Minister, rendra Modi’s statement that there was no development in the State.
“But he indeed iugurated the road projects implemented by the Congress Government sanctioned by the responsive Congress-led UPA Government at the State,” Dr Sangma said.
It may be mentioned that during the BJP’s ‘Rally for Change’ here on Saturday, Modi, had alleged that Meghalaya was not witnessing any development during the 15 years rule of the Congress party.
The Prime Minister was addressing the public rally after iugurating the Shillong-Nongstoiñ-Rongjeng-Tura Road.
The Meghalaya Chief Minister also expressed his anguish that the Prime Minister had used the venue of the official programme for his political party rally which according to Dr Sangma is totally ucceptable and against all conventions.
Dr Sangma said that the earlier, the UPA regime understood the needs of the people and made huge investments over a period of time to build the massive road connectivity projects.
He pointed out that these include the Shillong Byepass project and the four-laning scheme of the Shillong–Guwahati Road.
The Chief Minister further stated that these massive investments have come up over a period of time because of the persistent and committed effort of this Congress Government to get these massive projects sanctioned by its leadership in Delhi.
Dr Sangma stated that the then UPA Government at the Centre understood and acknowledged the hope and aspirations of the people of Meghalaya. “Such massive investments are unprecedented in the history of Meghalaya. It was because of sheer love and care shown by our leadership led by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh who responded to requests of the State Government,” Dr Sangma stated.
Thanking the “visiory and authentic leadership of the then Congress Government” for these road projects filly connecting people from both the western and the eastern sides, the Chief Minister said that the people from the Garo Hills region no longer need to visit their state capital, Shillong via Guwahati in Assam.
“It is ironical to hear these words of lack of development in the State from the incumbent Prime Minister who just iugurated those projects, which were actually brought by the Congress-led UPA Government,” Dr Sangma stated.
He further said that access to quality healthcare for all particularly the poor and the vulnerable section of the State has been the Government’s greatest concern and the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II) Government in Meghalaya has started the innovative and most inclusive health insurance scheme — the “Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS)” which is now in Phase-3.
Dr Sangma requested the Prime Minister to do his homework and verify and ascertain facts before berating an elected government.
It may be mentioned that during Modi’s address to the people of the State from Polo Grounds on Saturday, he had said that the healthcare scerio in Meghalaya is pathetic despite having a Chief Minister who is a medical graduate.
Dr Sangma said that the State’s flagship health scheme ‘MHIS’ has been acknowledged by none other than the Union Health Ministry which after studying it has advised replication by other States. MHIS, now in Phase 3, has ebled qualitative healthcare to the citizens of the State from all walks of life.
“I would suggest to the Prime Minister to first study this scheme which I, as a doctor, know is beneficial to the people since this great tion still have families who, especially for the poor and downtrodden, cannot access quality healthcare. Maybe after studying our MHIS, he can think about replicating it in other parts of the country. Obviously he can supplement it further. But we’ve paved the way,” Dr Sangma added.
The Meghalaya Chief Minister also informed that earlier the north-eastern States used to get block grants through the Planning Commission under the UPA Government.
“These funds were used for taking up innovative schemes like MHIS and various other need-based local projects. Since the BJP-led Government came to power, the north-eastern States are not receiving those block grants meant for the region to bridge the critical infrastructure gaps,” Dr Sangma alleged.