New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday got ‘Kochi’ in Kerala and ‘Karachi’ in Pakistan mixed up in a slip of the tongue but quickly covered it up by saying that his mind these days is preoccupied with the neighbouring country.

Extolling the virtues of the Ayushman Bharat health scheme, Mr Modi said it allowed a resident of Jamnagar to avail treatment anywhere in the country, be it ‘Kolkata’ or ’Karachi’. Almost in the same breath, the PM set things right by telling the gathering he meant ‘Kochi’ and not ‘Karachi’

“Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, if a resident of Jamnagar has gone to Bhopal and falls sick, he need not come back to Jamnagar for treatment. If he shows his (Ayushman Bharat) beneficiary card, he will get free treatment even in Kolkata and even in Karachi,” Mr Modi told a gathering here.

He, however, added, “Not Karachi but Kochi. Nowadays my mind is preoccupied with the thoughts of the neighbouring country. But that (air strike in Pakistan) was also necessary. Should that be done or not?” he posed to the crowd which replied its assent with a round of applause.

Mr Modi was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a 750-bed annexe building of Guru Govind Singh Hospital here.