KOLKATA: The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government recently pulled out of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) health cover scheme stating that the Centre was claiming entire credit for the scheme even though it was a 60:40 partnership between the Centre and the state government in West Bengal.
Two years before implementation of the central health cover scheme, West Bengal launched its own 'Swasthya Sathi' health cover scheme in 2016 which provides Rs 5 lakh per annum per family secondary and tertiary health cover, same as PMJAY, and has around 40 lakh beneficiaries.
After the launch of PMJAY, Centre collaborated with the state in 60:40 partnership to run both PMJAY and Swasthya Sathi together renaming it as 'Jan Arogya Yojna', removing Pradhan Mantri from the name of the joint scheme.
However, Mamata Banerjee complained that the Centre was putting only the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP election symbol lotus without any mention of Mamata Banerjee or the Trinamool Congress. This irked the TMC supremo and she accused the Centre of trying to run a parallel government in the states violating the federal structure of the country.
The pullout may act detrimental to BJP's target to win 22 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal as already over one crore people had enrolled themselves in the joint health cover in the state, many of whom BJP had viewed as potential voters in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, party sources revealed.