The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) upped the ante against the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal by accusing the ruling party of depriving farmers of receiving the financial benefits released on Friday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi has released the next installment of PM-Kisan, the direct cash transfer scheme for farmers, valued at Rs18,000 crore on bank accounts of 90 million farmers.
The head of the BJP computer cell, Amit Malviya, attacked the government of Mamata Banerjee in a series of tweets.
“Today, when the Prime Minister transfers 18,000 crore to 9 million farming families across the country, West Bengal farmers will be deprived because the CM refused to identify and submit the list of beneficiaries to the central government. Pishi’s ego means farmers suffer! “Malviya tweeted on Friday morning.
The TMC, however, said the way the Center wants to transfer the money is not acceptable and the state government is providing financial assistance to farmers, which is higher than that provided by the Center.
“The state has already informed the Center that the financial advantage must be routed through the state. The direct benefit Center is contrary to the federal structure. Second, the state government is providing farmers with assistance of 5,000 rupees per acre, which is higher than the central benefit, ”said Saugata Roy, TMC MP.
This comes just two days after TMC chief Mamata Banerjee sent a team of five MPs to meet troubled farmers at the Delhi-Haryana border.
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“Of the approximately 72 lakh farmers in WB, nearly 23 lakh have registered on the central portal looking for benefits with #PMKisan Samman Nidhi, but Pishi has not certified them! Each farmer in WB has so far lost Rs14,000 (including the last installment) and state 9,800 crore, ”Malviya said in his second tweet.
Similar allegations were made by union interior minister Amit Shah during his visit to the state last weekend.
“Only 55% of WB’s farmland is irrigated. Despite being a water rich state, it is sparsely irrigated. It ranks 24 out of 29 states. In terms of average monthly farmers’ income as reported by NABARD in 2016-17, WB ranks in the lower 24 out of 29 states. Pishi has failed farmers, ”Malviya said in her tweet.
The prime minister’s action comes amid ongoing protests by farmers against three laws passed by parliament in September to reform the agricultural sector.
Assembly elections will take place in West Bengal in 2021. The exchange of BJP and TMC on the PM-Kisan scheme is the latest in a war of words between the parties that led to the elections.