Mamata Exits Ayushman Bharat

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called off her six-month association with the national health insurance scheme over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “dirty politics” through government schemes.

The Bengal government had in July 2018 signed an agreement with the Centre to implement the health cover scheme under the joint banner Ayushman Bharat-Swasthya Sathi.

A letter bearing Modi’s photo to the beneficiaries in tow with a health insurance card is learnt to have irked Banerjee. “The state government contributes 40% the cost in the scheme. But I find that the Modi Sarkar is sending letters to the people with his photograph and a logo, bearing lotus stamp, claiming that the scheme is run by them. The letter also has a health card attached. I do not know whether it is fake or real,” she said at a government event in Nadia district on Wednesday.

“Dirty politics is being played by the prime minister. Is Modi Sarkar running a parallel government in all states? If yes, then what are the state governments doing here?” she said.

Calling the present regime the “worst government possible”, she said that the Modi government is setting an example of “atrocious governance”.

“We will not contribute any share in this scheme from now. Let Modi Sarkar run the scheme on its own. We have better health care scheme in our state,” Banerjee said. Within hours, the state administration informed the Centre on its stand on the scheme.

She flayed the Centre over the crop insurance scheme as well.

“We give 80% of the premium for the farmers for crop insurance scheme. But Narendra Modi wants credit for that as well,” she said. “We have given ₹625 crore for the crop insurance premium for farmers in 2018.”

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