BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday accused the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government of obstructing the implementation of the flagship healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat by laying siege to post offices, sending police officers and Members of Parliament and MLAs to snatch the scheme’s cards.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year, the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), would provide a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
Over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families (around 50 crore beneficiaries) will be eligible for these benefits.
Mr Shah, who was addressing a party rally in this northern Bengal town, was speaking on the benefits of the scheme, when the crowd broke into applause.
Immediately Mr Shah retorted: “Don’t clap. Mamata di is obstructing it.”
“They are laying a siege to post offices and sending police to post offices. We want to provide up to Rs 5 lakh for treatment to the poor in Bengal,” Mr Shah told at a rally.
“Their MPs, MLAs, police, are snatching and seizing Ayushman Bharat cards from post offices, because they are afraid that Modi will become popular,” he alleged.
Ms Banerjee recently said her state would not pay its share of funds for PM Modi’s ambitious healthcare project and accused the Centre of neglecting Bengal’s contribution to the scheme.
She had asked the Central government to pay the full amount if it wanted to run it.
Mr Shah also said, “Tell me, if poor people of UP get Rs 5 lakh for treatment, shouldn’t Bengal’s poor also get it? If Bihar, Maharashtra’s poor people get Rs 5 lakh, should not Bengal’s poor people get it? Mamata di says you shouldn’t get.”
“If you want to get benefits of Ayushman Bharat, then (you) teach a lesson to Mamata di,” he added.