West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee lampoons 'Modicare', vows not to pay for it

mamata-banerjee-youth-wing-event-salil-bera (File) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came down heavily on the Naredra Modi government for declaring a health insurance scheme—Modicare—without consulting the states.

“You have decided that 40 per cent of that would have to be borne by states. Why?,” the chief minister asked on Wednesday at an administrative meeting. “Did you discuss with us before deciding on it? You cannot force us to pay. If we had money we would have done that on our own,” she added.

Noting that there is already a health insurance scheme in place for around 50 lakh people, who are government employees and contractual or casual labourers, the chief minister said, “There is nothing new in this (Modicare). We cannot accept the Central government’s diktat.”

Further, she ridiculed the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana' of Modi government saying, “Look at the financial allocations in the project. Rs 100 crore for all over India. Which means Rs 3 crore for my state which has a population of 10 crore. So per person allocation would be Rs 0.30.” She added that she has already spent Rs 1,200 crore for providing education to girls in the state.

She has also asked people in the state to ensure that the BJP does not win panchayat elections. “Then the development process would be hampered. In all seats our people should win,” she said.

The chief minister also threatened to launch an agitation if the Central government decides to go ahead with the FRDI Bill. “Through this bill, they would take away your fixed deposits. They have also said that bank would not accept cash. If people would not deposit cash then they would park their money with chit funds. Will that be good?”she asked.

“If they don’t take it (FRDI Bill) back, I have decided to start a massive protest.”

She claimed that the Union government only talks, but does not do any concrete work. “They start project in any name. Give small allocations. Then they take it back suddenly. We are not like this. We always keep our promise,” she said.

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