West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday (6 January) made a veiled attack on the Mamata Banerjee administration over the state's peasants not getting the benefits of the PM Kissan Samman Nidhi and appealed to the government not to "do injustice" to farmers.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conceiving and implementing the scheme, Dhankhar said Rs 43,000 crore has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of eight crore peasants, "with no middleman involved...without any advertisement."
Speaking after inaugurating a rural fare close to this campus of Visva-Bharati University in Birbhum district's Bolpur, Dhankhar then turned to the peasants in Bengal not getting a "single paisa" from the scheme.
"70 lakh peasants in Bengal didn't get a single paisa. I feel sad. It is their right. Why didn't they get over Rs 4,000 crore? Who has come in-between? They shouldn't have come.
"I request with folded hands, we must not do injustice to farmers. There should not be any politics where development is involved. Even if they take steps now, then there is still a chance of Rs 4,000-5000 crores reaching the accounts of the peasants.. That will change the economic and social status of our farmers," he said.
The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi is a fully centrally funded scheme providing beneficiaries an income support of Rs 6,000 per year. The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the state/Union Territory governments.
Despite lakhs of Kisans applying under the scheme, the Banerjee government has refused to clear their names, holding the scheme as a propaganda vehicle for the Modi government.
The Banerjee government has come up with its own peasants' income support schemes.
Countering Dhankhar, state Agriculture Minister Ashish Banerjee said it was "unfortunate" that the Governor was making the remarks without being fully aware of the issue.
"The peasants get all forms of financial help. The Governor's statement backing the anti-people policies of the Centre is very unfortunate," he said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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