New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that it is for the first time in the country a government has given priority to health care. Addressing a religious congregation of the Dawoodi Bohra community in Indore where he arrived in the morning for Ashara Mubaraka, PM Modi said, “Today, Ayushmaan Bharat has worked as ‘Sanjeevani’ for almost 50 crore poor people across India. The trial of this scheme, which ensures free treatment of up to Rs 5lakh, is underway.”

Lauding the Dawoodi Bohra community, PM Modi said that the community is playing a big role in Vikas mission. The community has made numerous contributions in Gujarat. Talking about Swachh Bharat, PM Modi praised Indore for being the flag-bearer and said, “I want to congratulate all the residents of Indore for taking Swachh Bharat Mission forward. From tomorrow, ‘Swachta Hi Seva’ programme will begin, and it will continue until October 2.”

He also said, “My relationship with the Bohra community is an old one. It is my good fortune that I have received the affection of the Bohra community. There is hardly any village in Gujarat where a Bohra trader cannot be found. The community assisted me during my tenure as Gujarat’s chief minister. It is a sheer affection of you people that have brought me here today.”

After landing in Indore, Prime Minister Modi had met the religious head of the community, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, at a mosque. Dawoodi Bohras are a sect within Shia Islam. Thousands of community members have arrived in Indore from various parts of the world to hear their religious head’s sermons.

It is to be noted here that PM Modi is the first prime minister to address a religious congregation of the Dawoodi Bohra community. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were also present.

Ashara Mubaraka refers to a period of ten days at the beginning of the Islamic year dedicated to the remembrance of Prophet Mohammed and his grandson Imam Husain. The tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, is known as Ashura and marks the day on which Imam Husain was martyred along with his family members and companions.

The BJP-ruled state is due for polls later in the year. Modi’s visit to poll-bound Madhya Pradesh is being seen by political pundits as an attempt to give a fillip to the BJP’s push to retain power in the state.