SHILLONG: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using the official programme for a BJP rally here on Saturday.
Modi, who had inaugurated the Shillong-Nongstoi-Rongjeng-Tura Road, launched the public rally dubbed as "The Rally for Change" wherein he claimed that Meghalaya was not witnessing any development during the 15 years rule of the Congress.
Sangma and Public Works Department (Roads) Minister Martin M Danggo stayed away from Modi's unveiling the plaque of the 264-km-road built at a cost of over Rs 2,300 crore.
"It was surprising to hear from that Prime Minister that there was no development in the State, but he (Modi) indeed inaugurated the road projects implemented by this Congress government sanctioned by the previous Congress-led UPA government at the Centre," Sangma said.
He said that the UPA government, which understood the needs of the people, had made huge investments over a period of time to build the massive road connectivity projects, adding that the Shillong Bypass project and the four-laning of Shillong-Guwahati Road came up "because of the persistent and committed effort of this Congress government to get these massive projects sanctioned by our leadership in Delhi.."
"Such massive investments are unprecedented in the history of Meghalaya. These road projects are now connecting people from both western and eastern sides (of the state)," he said that people from the western part are no longer needed to visit their state capital via Assam.
Praising the "visionary and authentic leadership" of then Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for responding to requests of the state government, he said: "It is ironical to hear these words of lack of development in the State from the incumbent Prime Minister who just inaugurated those projects, which were actually brought by the Congress-led UPA government."
Responding to Modi's allegation on the poor health sector in the state, the Chief Minister said: "Meghalaya is pioneering state to bring a new Mega Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS). This is one of the most inclusive programmes covering all aspects of the life.
"Now, we can see people, regardless their economic background can go to any hospital, whether it is a private or government hospital, to access the best health services. The Central government in fact invited the State government to present about this exemplary health initiative to other states," he said, urging the Prime Minister to do his "homework, verify and ascertain facts before berating an elected government".
Sangma said that the BJP-led NDA government has also withdrawn Block Grants to the northeastern states.