If you look at my work of two years, you will see one decision after the other was taken to empower the poor to fight against poverty so that they can defeat it,” PM Narendra Modi said.
Healthcare experts were quick to welcome the move. “India has one doctor for every 1,600 persons, while WHO recommends one per 1,000 at the very least. Availability of doctors in rural areas is a bigger problem. Increasing retirement age of medical professionals is a welcome step to tide over this crisis,” said K Srinath Reddy, president of Public Health Foundation of India.
While Modi presented what amounted to a report card of the past two years, noting that it was around two years ago that he had taken oath of office, home minister Rajnath Singh, who accompanied him, sounded the poll bugle for the state which will see assembly elections in 2017.
“For UP, 14 years of ‘vanvaas’ (exile) are over. Now is BJP’s time,” he said. Asserting that a “mood of development and hope” pervades the country, replacing what he called the “hopelessness” seen under the UPA rule earlier, Modi pitched his government as one “dedicated to the poor and farmers”.
Modi reached out to the local electorate, calling himself a “UP wala” who cared for farmers. He said his government had taken a series of measures to help repay the dues of sugarcane farmers, a politically important constituency in this belt of western Uttar Pradesh. His choice of words was of significance at the venue.
Healthcare experts welcome PM move