Melody queen Lata hums the Modi tune

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with the Mangeshkar family at the inauguration of a superspecialty facility at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Erandwane on Friday. Pavan Khengre

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday received backing from melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, who said she wished to see the Gujarat chief minister as the prime minister of the country.

"This Diwali, I pray that he (Modi) gets what you and I want. Narendrabhai should be in the prime minister's chair...," said Lata, coming out openly in support of Modi, at the inaugural function of the 600-bed Deenanath Mangeshkar Superspeciality Hospital in the city.

"He is like my brother. I have spoken to him a number of times over the phone and even sent him recordings of Gujarati songs," Lata said, adding, Modi's name came to her mind first, when she was asked about whom to invite to inaugurate the superspecialty hospital.

In response, Modi said he felt honoured after the Mangeshkar family invited him as the chief guest for the inauguration. "I received a letter from Lata didi, six months ago. It was big gift for me," he said.

The BJP leader applauded the efforts of the Mangeshkar family in setting up a hospital in memory of their father. "The Mangeshkar family could have offered their homage through their music, but they gave the best by setting up a hospital, as their father had died due to lack of proper medical facilities...," Modi said.

He added that social power was a step ahead of political power in the country. "The health tourism sector has expanded in the country," he said, however, stressed on the need for skilled workers in the sector.

"We get patients from across the world, but there is a need for skilled workers in the healthcare sector to connect with the people across the world," he added.

Every citizen in the country, Modi said, needed health assurance, and not mere insurance. "The focus should be on preventive health care and if that is achieved, we can serve the society by ensuring good health," he said, adding pure air, water and balance diet were a must for a healthy living.

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