Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme via video conferencing to extend health insurance coverage to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The scheme will ensure universal health coverage, and focus on providing financial risk protection and ensuring quality and affordable essential health services to all individuals and communities.
Speaking on the recently held DDC elections, PM Narendra Modi said the people of Jammu and Kashmir voted to strengthen the democracy as they came out in large numbers to vote. Referring to the J&K DDC elections, PM Modi attacked the Opposition for giving him "sermons" on democracy.
"There are people in Delhi who criticize me, use aggressive language against me. Look at this, successful election has been conducted in J&K. Those who give sermons to me on democracy must know that despite SC order, Panchayat elections have not been held in Puducherry," PM Modi said.
And then PM Narendra Modi went on to say, "Those who keep on teaching me lessons on democracy are the ones who are running their government there."
"I'm very happy to witness a huge turnout in DDC elections in J&K. Braving intense cold wave and in the middle of a pandemic, people showed great enthusiasm. The people of J&K have voted to strengthen democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. People of all walks of life came out and voted for development in DDC elections," PM Narendra Modi said.
PM Modi also interacted with the beneficiaries of the scheme, congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir and ensured everyone will benefit from the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Speaking on the Ayushman Bharat scheme, PM Modi said, I got an opportunity to speak two beneficiaries of the health scheme. To get feedback from the beneficiaries always inspires me. From today onwards, people of J&K are going to benefit from the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
"I would like to congratulate the J&K administration, security forces for conducting free, fair, and transparent elections. This is not an ordinary achievement," PM Modi said.
Back in 2018, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walked out of the Jammu and Kashmir government by ending its alliance with the PDP. PM Modi said the party had to leave the government as it wanted the empowerment of the Panchayati Raj institutions.
"There was a time, we were a part of the Jammu and Kashmir government but we broke the alliance. Our issue was that panchayat election should be held and people be given their due rights to choose their representatives. But we had to leave that government because we wanted empowerment of Panchayati raj institutions," PM Modi said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Union Territory's Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, also spoke on the occasion. Addressing the event, Amit Shah said, "Today is a great day for J&K. We are celebrating good governance week to mark Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji's birth anniversary."
"Atal Bihari Vajpayee loved J&K and Kashmiris were also very fond of him. Every citizen of J&K will now be covered under the universal health insurance scheme. I'm happy to announce that J&K is the only state/UT in the country where every citizen will get health insurance coverage under the Ayushmaan Bharat scheme," he said.
"PM Modi wants to take democracy to the grassroots levels. After Aug 5, 2019, there has been a massive improvement in the infrastructure of J&K. Democracy has also been strengthened. We will soon see more results on the ground. Without any violence, free, fair and peaceful DDC elections have been conducted."
Amit Shah said PM Modi wishes to see speedy development in J&K and improvement in the standard of living of people. "He presses that democracy should reach the grassroots levels and wishes peace & security for people of the state," Amit Shah said.