Prime Minister Narendra Modi was speaking in Siddharthnagar at an event to inaugurate nine medical colleges across Uttar Pradesh.
In an apparent dig at the Samajwadi Party (SP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said a “cycle of corruption” used to run all day to rob the poor of their money during its rule in Uttar Pradesh as he accused the previous governments of neglecting Purvanchal, especially its health infrastructure.
Mr. Modi said there used to be corruption in medicines and ambulance services as well as in appointments, transfers and posting.
“In the entire game, some parivarvadi (family-oriented people) benefitted. The cycle of corruption ran free and under it the ordinary family of Purvanchal and U.P. were crushed,” Mr. Modi alleged. The cycle is the election symbol of the SP.
The Prime Minister was speaking in Siddharthnagar at an event to inaugurate nine medical colleges across the State in Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatepur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur. Later, Mr Modi launched the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.
Mr. Modi said while previous governments had left eastern U.P. to fight with illnesses and the infamy of deaths due to encephalitis, with the nine medical colleges and other initiatives of his government, Purvanchal was set to become the “medical hub of eastern India.”
A “double engine government” was working hard to provide health facilities to all the poor, he said.
As U.P. heads towards Assembly election in early 2022, Mr. Modi also targeted the previous government of Akhilesh Yadav, though as on his other campaigns, without naming the opposition leader.
The previous government did not cooperate with the Centre, Mr. Modi said. “They brought politics into the works of development. They did not allow the schemes of the Centre to move ahead in U.P.,” Mr. Modi said, stressing that there was only one reason for it “political will and political priority.”
Those who ran the government earlier, their priority was to earn for themselves and fill the coffers of their families, he said. “Our priority is to save the money of the families of the poor and provide them with basic facilities,” Mr. Modi said.
The PM also praised the tenure of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for revving up the medical infrastructure in the State. While only six medical colleges were built during the previous government, under Mr. Adityanath 16 were ready while 30 others were in the pipeline in addition to the AIIMS in Gorakhpur and Rae Bareli, the PM said.
Mr. Modi lamented that in the post-Independence era, health infrastructure did not get the required attention and that the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission would tackle the deficiencies and bring in “self-confidence and self-reliance” in the health system and a high-level of preparedness during epidemics.
The mission entails creation of elaborate facilities for diagnostics and treatment and free medical consultation, free tests and free medicine will be available in Health and Wellness Centres, which would include facilities for early detection of diseases. For serious illness, 35,000 new critical care-related beds were being added in 600 districts and referral facilities would be provided in 125 districts.
Necessary infrastructure would also be developed for the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases, and 730 districts in the country would get Integrated Public Health labs while 3,000 blocks would get Block Public Health Labs.
A third aspect, Mr. Modi said, was the expansion of the existing research institutions that study pandemics.
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