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State govt not to rename health, wellness centres as ‘mandir’

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SHILLONG, July 3: For a change, the NPP-led MDA Government has decided not to pay heed to the directions of the Centre to rename the health and wellness centres in Meghalaya as “Ayushman Arogya Mandir”.
“We had taken this decision almost three months back after receiving the advisory from the Centre. The Meghalaya government is not issuing any notification to change the names of the health and wellness centres,” Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh told The Shillong Times on Wednesday.
According to her, the question of the state government writing to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for exemption does not arise since health is a State Subject.
“The state government is of the opinion that no such thing (name change) will take place. This is the prerogative of the state and it is a Federal structure. Why should the state government succumb to what the Union government is saying?” she stated.
Several political parties in the state have questioned the real intention of the BJP-led NDA Government to change the name of the health and wellness centres.
UDP working president, Titosstarwell Chyne questioned why the name of the health centres should be changed to something that describes the place of worship of the Hindus.
Echoing Chyne, VPP spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh said the BJP is fulfilling its “Hindutva” agenda by doing this.
“It is important to preserve the secular fabric of the nation. This effort of the BJP is not welcome and we request the Union government to maintain the secular nature of the Indian states,” he said.
Myrboh said tagging the word “Mandir” proves that the BJP is trying to promote the identity of “one nation, one religion”.
Congress leader Manuel Badwar said this change of name is part of a BJP agenda.
“The BJP cannot go with a fanatic kind of agenda throughout. I think even the Hindus will not support this kind of policy of the saffron party,” he said.

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