Shimla: Veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, slammed the state government for its decision to close 17 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Singh terming the decision as anti-people said that it is evident that the state government has no sensitivity towards the concerns of the rural people and were averse to their development and health concerns.

He said that his government had opened up several health centres and schools in the state without any discrimination, especially in the rural areas in view of the need to provide basic health facilities and education.

“The decision of the state government to close these health centres reflects their narrow mindset,” he said, adding that the state government was doing it at a time during the Covid-19 crisis when there is dire need to strengthen the health services in the remote and rural areas.

Calling it unfortunate, he asked the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to revoke the decision keeping in mind the interest of the public at large.

Singh said that the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) elections have a very important role to play in democracy and also in rural development.

He exhorted the people of the state to exercise their franchise and vote for the progress and development.

“It is time to unite against the anti-people policies and decisions of the government,” he said, adding that the Congress party has always given priority to development of the rural areas and the public has once again got an opportunity to strengthen the Congress.

He expressed hope that in these forthcoming PRI elections people of the state will strengthen the ideology of Congress and will vote for the candidates associated with the party.