THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Government on Sunday locked horns with the Union Minister of State for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam over the state-level launch of the PM-KISAN scheme. While the state government launched the project in Kottayam, Alphons Kannanthanam inaugurated it at the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram.
While the Thiruvananthapuram function was conspicuous by the absence of state tourism minister or local legislator, the function in Kottayam was a state affair with Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar inaugurating the project. Soon after the state-level inauguration, Sunil Kumar alleged that the Union Government inaugurated the scheme without informing the state, which is against the federal principles of the country, and that it can be termed as a ‘political meanness’.
He also stated that the attempt to make the launching of central schemes as BJP’s party programmes cannot be accepted.
In reply to the state’s allegation, Kannanthanam made it clear that the inauguration of the scheme was held in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. The programme held at the CTCRI Thiruvananthapuram was only the live-telecasting function of the Central-level inauguration of the project. He also alleged that the state has been stealing central schemes by rechristening their names.
Meanwhile, the union minister said that the union government would be taking steps to enhance the cash dole of Rs 6,000 announced to the farmers under the scheme in the coming years.
The Centre has been giving minimum support price to as many as 22 crops and it was due to the wrong approach of the previous governments that the rubber was not included in the list, he said.
If the BJP comes into power next time, it will start the next phase of the scheme to ensure a sustainable income for the farmers in the country, he said.