KOLKATA: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for opposing farm sector reform bills, saying "crocodile tears will not relieve the pain of farmers", and urged her to implement the Centre's PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme in the state.
Claiming that 70 lakh farmers in the state have been deprived of the benefits of the programme, Dhankhar said the "palpable injustice" to them is "poor politics".
"Why deny @MamataOfficial benefit Rs 8,400 crores to 70 lac WB farmers. By failure to participation in PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi! "So far every farmer has lost Rs 12,000 that would have come to his bank account. Urge CM -Crocodile Tears will not relieve the pain of farmers," Dhankhar said on Twitter.
He also wrote a letter to the chief minister, urging her to implement the central scheme in the state.
"Farmers in the country, except WB, have enormously benefited from PM-Kisan scheme and so far more than Rs 92,000 crores have been defrayed to them.
"This palpable injustice to WB farmers is poor politics and bad exonomics @MamataOfficial," he said.
Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with the state government over a host of issues, said the scheme is fully funded by the Centre and there is "no rationale to deny" the benefits of it to farmers.
"Denial of the benefits of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi to over 70 lakh farmers in the state on account of laxity and inaction of the state government is hurting them, especially during these stressed and crisis times. The situation has not looked up even after attention was drawn from my end," he wrote in his letter.
He claimed the Centre's scheme is functional since December 2018 and the state government will not incur any financial burden or liability for implementing it.
"It has only to impart details, which it has unfortunately not done, without any explicable premise or rational approach," Dhankhar wrote.
His comment came after Banerjee on Monday attacked the BJP-led central government over the passage of two farm sector reform bills, claiming that the "anti-farmer" legislations which were bulldozed through the Rajya Sabha by a "fascist" regime will lead to famine.
Urging the state government to reconsider its decision over the implementation of the programme in the state, Dhankhar said aggressive stance at the cost of farmers' suffering is "indeed problematic".
"The saga that unfolds can neither be reckoned as prudent economics or farmer friendly governance. Confrontational stance at the cost of farmers' suffering is indeed worrisome," he said.
Dhankhar said the "grave injustice" to the farmers of the state should be redressed so that they can enjoy the benefits of the scheme.