Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme for 21 lakh families of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), and simultaneously took the occasion to pass a snide remark at Congress, which has been opposing the central NDA government's style of governance.
Prime Minister Modi on this day said that there are "several people" in Delhi who are trying to teach him a lesson in democracy, and yet it is them who need to see a true example of democracy, such as the District Development Council (DDC) polls in J&K.
Notably, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had recently taken a dig at the Centre, saying that there was "no democracy in India" and alleged that those who opposed Prime Minister Modi were tagged as "terrorists" by the NDA government.
The Prime Minister hit back at the Congress today, pointing out that the grand old party was in power in Puducherry and yet local body polls have not been conducted despite the Supreme Court order.
On the contrary, the Prime Minister said, DDC polls were conducted in Jammu and Kashmir "within a year of it becoming a union territory."
"Those in power in Puducherry, not carrying out local polls, are giving me lessons in democracy," the Prime Minister mocked Congress without naming the party.
PM Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme for all residents of J&K, under which all families in the union territory will be able to receive free treatment up to Rs five lakh annually.
The people of J&K will be able to take advantage of the scheme not only in the state but in the whole country, he said.
Describing this day as historic, Modi said, "This in itself is a big step. And I am very happy to see Jammu & Kashmir taking these steps for the development of its people."
Modi appreciated the public participation in the recent district development council elections.
He said, "On the face of every voter in Jammu & Kashmir, I saw an expectation for development. In the eyes of every voter in J&K, I saw the hope of a better future, leaving behind the past. I also congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for strengthening democracy."
(With inputs from agencies)