Jaipur: Addressing a rally at Rajasthan’s Churu on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the new Congress government, led by Ashok Gehlot, of not complying with Centrally-sponsored schemes.
He made several claims that were meant to make the previous Bharatiya Janta Party in the state, as well as the Centre, look better. But did his statements match up with reality? The Wire breaks it down.
On Yamuna’s water in Churu
Modi claimed that water from the Yamuna river had reached many parts of Churu district under the previous Vasundhara Raje government’s ambitious project.
“Saathiyo, kendra sarkar ki taraf se Churu ke vikas ke liye anek kadam uthaye gaye hain. Vasundhara sarkar ke samay hi Yamuna ka pani Churu ke anek illako tak pahuncha aur agar yahan ki sarkar ne gambhirta dikhayi toh baki jagaho tak bhi jald hi Yamuna ka pani pahunch jayega (Friends, the Central government has taken many initiatives for the development of Churu. During the Vasundhara Raje government, Yamuna’s water reached many parts of Churu and if the Congress government will show some seriousness, it can reach in the other parts of the state as well),” he said at the rally.
Under the project, a pipeline was proposed between Rajgarh in Churu and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh to utilise Yamuna’s water for drinking and irrigation in the Shekhawati region (Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu).
However, as per the Rajasthan water resources department, the project is yet to receive approval from the Central Water Commission (CWC). “We have just submitted a detailed project report to the CWC this January and the approval is still awaited,” superintendent engineer and in-charge of the inter-state river projects Yogesh Mittal told The Wire.
On One Rank One Pension
Bringing up the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, Modi claimed that retired army men from Churu have been granted benefits under it. However, ex-army men’s organisations have called this false.
“It’s completely a fake announcement that army men have been given the benefit of the OROP in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. The truth is that we have submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) two months ago for irregularities in the average time taken for disbursement of the pension under the scheme,” Liyaqat Ali Khan of the Voice of Ex-Servicemen Society in Rajasthan, an organisation with about 3,000 active members that has been vociferously demanding proper implementation of OROP, told The Wire.
On PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana
Modi also claimed that the state Congress government hasn’t submitted the list of beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, announced in the Budget, meant to grant Rs 6,000 per year to 120 million small and marginal farmers.
“Dukh ki baat ye hai ki parson, jin ek crore se adhik kisan parivaron ko Modi sarkar ki taraf se seedhi madad ki pehli kisht pahuchi, usme Churu ka, Rajasthan ka, ek bhi kisan parivar nahi hai. Kyun hua aisa? Isliye hua, kyunki yaha ke sarkar ne abhi tak kendra sarkar ko laabharthi kisano ki suchhi hi nahi bheji hai (It is really sad that in the list of one crore beneficiaries that were given first instalment of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana by the Modi government didn’t include any farmer from Churu and Rajasthan. Why did this happen? It happened because the state government hasn’t send the names of the beneficiaries to the Central government),” he claimed.
However, as per a senior official who didn’t wish to be named, the state government has uploaded the details of approximately two lakh beneficiaries on the PM Kisan portal for disbursement of the benefit.
“As far as the Rajasthan government is concerned, we have uploaded details of approximately two lakh beneficiary farmers on the portal for final disbursement. Details of additional six lakh beneficiary farmers have also been uploaded but we are proof-checking them for any irregularities as appeared in the Gujarat government’s beneficiary list of this scheme,” he said.
On Ayushman Bharat
Modi also claimed that the people of Rajasthan aren’t able to receive the benefit of the Modi government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme as the state Congress government hasn’t yet implemented it.
“Ayushman Bharat Yojana ke tahet dash bhar mein 50 crore garibo ko har warsh 5 lakh ka muft illajh sunnishchit kiya jaa rha hai. Abhi tak desh main 13 lakh tak garibo ko muft mein illaj mil chukha hai par isme bhi Rajasthan ka ek bhi Bhai, ek bhi Been ya ek bhi Bachcha nahi hai. kaaran kya hai? Kyunki yahan ki Congress sarkar ne iss Yojana se jhudne ke liye bhi gambhirta nahi dikhayi. (Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, annual free treatment worth Rs five lakh is provisioned to India’s 50 crore poor people. At present, about 13 lakh beneficiaries have sought the benefit of this scheme but among the beneficiaries, there is no man, woman or child from Rajasthan. What’s the reason? It’s because the Congress government in Rajasthan has not shown any seriousness to implement the scheme in the state),” he said.
While it is true that the Ayushman Bharat scheme isn’t yet operational in Rajasthan, a similar health insurance scheme initiated by the previous Raje government called the Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY) is running in the state.
Under the BSBY scheme, families included in the national food security scheme are being provided insurance cover of Rs 30,000 for general illness and Rs three lakh for severe diseases. It includes check-ups, treatment, operations and OPDs.
As per officials, managing the budget for Ayushman Bharat is difficult when the state is already running a self-sufficient health insurance scheme of its own.