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Opinion

In another U-turn, KCR decides to implement the Center’s Ayushman Bharat scheme

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Abandoning its confrontational stance against the Center, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government, headed by Prime Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has decided to implement the core Ayushman Bharat scheme, which it had opposed for the past two years.

The decision to implement the plan was relayed to the Center by Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar during a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

“The chief secretary informed the prime minister that the prime minister has made the decision to match the Arogyasri health plan of the Telangana government with the Ayushman Bharat plan of the government of India,” said a short official note from the state government.

Health Minister Eatala Rajender said on Thursday that the state government had decided in principle to implement the Center’s Ayushman Bharat scheme in the state starting this year. “Whether it is a central or state scheme, it will be implemented only with public money,” he said.

Since Ayushman Bharat was introduced in September 2018, KCR, as the prime minister of Telangana is known, has strongly resisted and refused to implement it in Telangana, claiming that his government’s Arogyasri scheme was much better than Ayushman Bharat. , which would hardly benefit a few lakh people.

He even stated that Ayushman Bharat was a poor imitation of the Arogyasri scheme of Telangana. In the 2019 general elections, BJP leaders, including Union Interior Minister Amit Shah, made it a big problem during their campaign, accusing KCR of denying the benefits of Ayushman Bharat to the poor.

“It is good that KCR has changed its mind about Ayushman Bharat. But I should offer an apology to the people of Telangana for refusing to implement the scheme in the past two years, ”said BJP state president Bandi Sanjay.

The change in KCR’s position on Ayushman Bharat comes three days after its U-turn in the implementation of the controversial core laws on agriculture. Just on Sunday, the prime minister declared that the state government from now on would not be involved in the buying and selling of agricultural products, as new agricultural laws were being implemented across the country.

Claiming that the government had incurred a loss of Rs 7.5 billion in the purchase of agricultural products last season to guarantee the minimum price support (MSP) to farmers affected by the pandemic, it declared that the state was not an organization. business or merchant to buy the product every year.

Just a few months ago, the TRS voted against the farm laws in Parliament. Party leaders made strong statements against the agriculture bills and also participated in the Bharat Bandh program that took place in the first week of December.

KCR even announced that it would hold a national conclave in Hyderabad in the third week of December by consolidating all anti-BJP forces to fight against the Center’s farm laws.

Senior journalist and political analyst Suresh Dharur said that the shift in KCR’s stance towards Modi’s government was quite evident after his Telangana Rashtra Samithi faced shocking debacles in the Dubbak general assembly elections in November and the elections in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in early December.

“Apparently, KCR has perceived that the Bharatiya Janata Party is emerging as a powerful force. If you continue to adopt a confrontational attitude towards the Center, you will lose more ground to the BJP in the state. That is why he has decided to abandon his anti-Modi position, “said Dharur.

According to him, KCR appears to be following the path of Naveen Patnaik and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, their counterparts in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, respectively, of approaching the central leadership of the BJP, thus obtaining maximum benefits for the state in the form of approvals for new additional projects and funds.

“If KCR continues to be friendly with the Center, the BJP leaders at the state level will not have a chance to become aggressive against TRS. This will also create some confusion among the BJP cadres, ”Dharur observed.

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