'People want to see Rahul Gandhi as next PM'

Phagwara, Jan 6: Pressing for Congress Vice President to be made party's Prime Ministerial candidate, Union Minister Santosh Chowdhary on Monday said though a final decision was in the high command's hands, the common masses wanted to see him as the Prime Minister.

The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare said Rahul was fully capable and had the required potential to take up the top post. "Rahul Gandhi is young and icon of youth. He moves among people. 'Janata' (people) wants him to see as the next Prime Minister.

He has the potential and capability and should take up the baton," she told reporters here. However, she charged BJP's Prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of polarising and communalising the country's polity.

On the internal rift in Congress in Punjab over the newly constituted Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), she said it was unfortunate.

"The current developments in PPCC are unfortunate," she said, reacting to resignations by several leaders after the formation of the PPCC. On her ministry's work, Santosh said the government will provide single unit platelet-separation devices to district hospitals in Punjab.

"With these ultramodern devices, only one unit of blood will be required for platelets' separation instead of four units required by devices now," she said.

She claimed that under National Rural Health Mission scheme, Rs 1.10 lakh crore were spent by UPA government on health facilities in the country.

"Rs 2,200 crore was spent in Punjab, with Rs 65 crore more provided for free medicine programme in the state," she said.

Earlier, Chowdhary handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakh from her MP Local Area Development fund to a government school for construction of two class rooms, and alleged that there was lack of adequate infrastructure in schools of the state.


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