SILIGURI: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said people of the state are "paying price for an avoidable confrontation" between the Centre and the Trinamool Congress dispensation here. The Centre and the states are two wheels of development, and there has to be "cooperative federalism and united action" to help the people, he told reporters here.
"The pandemic has exposed the state of the health infrastructure in West Bengal. It could have been good if the state had adopted the Ayushman Bharat scheme of the Centre...Unfortunately, people of the state are paying price for lack of far-sightedness and an avoidable confrontation," he said.
Under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, the Centre had deposited Rs 12,000 directly into the bank account of every farmer of the country, except West Bengal, the governor said.
Dhankhar, who has been at odds with the government since assuming charge in West Bengal, said a total of Rs 92,000 crore has been distributed by the Centre under the programme but the farmers of the state have been deprived of such benefit. "This is a result of wrong policy, inaction and confrontation with the Centre," the governor said, adding that he had taken up this matter with the state government and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"After 21 months (from the inception of the scheme), she has written a letter to the Centre asking it to send the money to the state government for distribution among the farmers. Why the state government wants to act as an intermediary. The money is going directly to the farmers. It is not a good culture," he said.
Dhankhar also criticised the state government for "rising" crime against women in the state. "I have taken to Twitter to sensitise people against such crime," he added. The governor is on a month-long tour of Darjeeling from Sunday. Dhankhar said the purpose of his visit to north Bengal is to assess "the ground realities".
The governor's tour of Darjeeling comes in the backdrop of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung announcing his party's exit from the NDA and pledging support to the Trinamool Congress in the next year's assembly elections.
Speaking on GJM leader Bimal Gurung, who had recently made a dramatic public appearance in Kolkata after being on the run for three years following charges of murder and cases under the stringent UAPA, Dhankhar said, "a fugitive of the law is also a fugitive of the society".