West Bengal govt to pull out of PM’s Ayushman Bharat scheme: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has shut the implementation of “Ayushman Bharat Programme” launched by Central Govt by which 10 crore families or 50 crore people will be covered by a health insurance of Rs 5 lakhs in the cases of hospitalization and treatment of critical illness. This is the world’s largest health care scheme announced by any country so far. This is a direct blow to the poor and   economically depressed section of the people of West Bengal. The ground advanced by the West Bengal Govt for shutting the door to the Scheme is just laughable. Their reason is: The Scheme is being implemented on a 60%-40% cost sharing basis Central Govt bearing 60% cost and State Govt bearing 40%. The State Govt wanted its own Swastha Sathi scheme to be tagged on to this project while letters being sent to different eligible families in West Bengal ( 1.12 crore such households have been identified by the National Health Authority of which 96.24 lakh households  are in rural areas) do not find any mention of the same. This is just ridiculous as a Health Scheme sponsored by the Centre cannot bear two schemes. There must have to be uniformity all over the country. No other State in India has asked for such unreasonable patronage. The State Govt is well within its rights to introduce any other scheme in its own name. But asking for tagging on its scheme to a Central Scheme is a little too much favoritism which the Centre cannot grant for the sake of federal equality. But, the real reason is different. What has irked Mamata Banerjee is a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi printed on a corner of a letter which is otherwise just normal given that it’s a Centrally sponsored project. No other State Govt has any objection to the implementation of this historic and beneficial project far least to a picture of the Prime Minister because everybody agrees that this is , like Obamacare in US during the Presidency of Barack Obama, a brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But, Mamata’s case is different. She is habituated to seeing hundreds and thousands of her picture on which she turns her eyes after stepping out of her house. So, how can she accept anything which does not show her picture with a Legrand coined by her sycophants, ‘inspired by’. Moreover, in the election season, what will happen if any West Bengal voter becomes an admirer of Narendra Modi by seeing this picture? How can she allow this in her own fiefdom? So,  go to hell the public welfare if it comes through the Centre. People of West Bengal will be allowed only what comes through the State. This is the kind of federalism which they should learn and assimilate.