Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday released Rs 18,000 crores as the next instalment under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme to over 9 crore farmers. During his address, he lashed out at Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government. PM Modi alleged the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has destroyed the state and was doing politics by stopping over 70 lakh farmers from getting benefits of the Centre's flagship PM-KISAN scheme under which Rs 6,000 is being provided every year.
PM Modi also wondered while there were agitations against the new farm laws, no protests were visible against West Bengal's decision of not implementing PM-KISAN scheme. Around 70 lakh farmers of West Bengal are not getting the benefit of this scheme, which is fully funded by the Centre, he said.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee and the TMC has hit back at the Prime Minister. The West Bengal CM said that PM Modi is trying to "mislead people with half-truth".
"Today, PM showed apparent concern for farmers through televised address, instead of proactively working to resolve their issues. While he publicly claimed his intention to help farmers of WB through his PM Kisan Yojana...fact is he's trying to mislead people with half-truth," Mamata said.
She added that the Modi govt has done nothing for the people of Bengal. "They are yet to release even a portion of the Rs 85,000 cr of outstanding dues that includes unpaid GST dues of Rs 8,000 cr," she said.
Besides, TMC MP Saugata Roy said that they have always been ready to accept money from the Centre. However, he said that it has to be channelled through the state govt. "The point which the BJP has been making and the Prime Minister made today is that the West Bengal govt is not taking money from the Centre under the PM-KISAN scheme. We have already told the Central government that we are ready to accept the money, only if it is channelled through the state govt," the TMC MP told Times Now.
The war of words between the BJP and the TMC comes as the Assembly elections are due in West Bengal in April-May next year. The BJP has already launched a massive campaign to unseat Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government in the state. Banerjee has been West Bengal's Chief Minister since 2011 after ending 34-year-old Left rule in the state.
(With PTI inputs)