Hyderabad: Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani Sunday flayed caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for not implementing the Centre’s ambitious PMJAY health insurance scheme in Telangana.
Addressing a BJP workers meeting at Amberpet assembly constituency here, she said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to help the poor tackle health problems had led to the launch of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which provides Rs five lakh insurance cover.
“It is sad why this scheme was not accepted in the state. Party workers tell me that there are several other schemes of the Central government which the TRS government is scared of implementing because they feel Modi will become more popular. Modi is popular and remains popular and that’s why he became the Prime Minister,” Irani said.
She alleged that some programmes of the Central government were ‘disrespected’ and the TRS government wanted to politicise the schemes.
“Was Ayushman Bharat implemented? The question arises what kind of fear does KCR (as Rao is popularly known as)and TRS have? Why was this help not extended by the State government to poor families, which protects them from high medical treatment costs?” she asked.
Irani said that if people were deprived of such health schemes, then they would ensure that the TRS government was defeated, not just in the coming assembly election, but in next year’s general elections as well.
“I have come here to give this message,” she said. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (previously Ayushman Bharat), touted as the world’s largest health insurance programme, was launched pan-India by the prime minister from Jharkhand on 23 September.
The Telangana government had in Septemeber said it would not implement the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme for the time being, citing a State scheme that covered nearly 80 lakh families, drawing flak from opposition BJP.
One of the reasons for not rolling out the scheme was that Telangana would continue to implement its own Aarogyasri’ Health Scheme, which covers nearly 80 lakh families in the State, official sources had said.
Irani accused the TRS government of going back on its promise of not providing houses to poor people.
She also slammed the TRS government for not celebrating ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’ and said that after coming to power, the party had forgotten to celebrate the day.
“BJP is always with the party workers… whether it is Diwali or Danterash…BJP is one party which has dedicated itself to the service of the public,” Irani added