Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Monday that her government has sent names of 2.5 lakh farmers to the Centre. The names have been sent for inclusion in PM-Kisan scheme. However, till date they are yet to get benefit. Mamata Banerjee’s comments came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Trinamool Congress government. He criticised them for not implementing central schemes in West Bengal. The chief minister asked why the Union government has not disbursed any cash benefit to these farmers.
Banerjee said the state government had received a list of six lakh applicants from the Centre for verification for inclusion in the programme. She informed 2.5 lakh names have been sent to the Centre for financial assistance under the central welfare programme.
Banerjee had said no to PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme for more than a year. However, she softened her government’s stand last month and agreed to implement the project in the state. She had rebuffed the key central government farmers programme launched February 24, 2019. Banerjee had opposed direct cash benefit and instead insisted to route the funds through the state government for disbursal among the farmers.
The BJP leaders have mocked Banerjee’s change of heart to her fear of losing farmers’ votes in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections.
In the backdrop of ongoing farm agitation against the three new agri laws, the famers issue is emerging as a dominant narrative in the Bengal polls expected to take place in April-May this year.
The chief minister has also increased the annual financial assistance, under the state government’s ‘Krishak Bandhu’ scheme to Rs 6,000. Earlier it was Rs 5,000.