NCP questions Central government over ignorance of Maharashtra under ‘Ayushman Bharat’

Mumbai | The NCP Tuesday attacked the Centre over registration of “only” 84 lakh families from Maharashtra under the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ health care scheme, wondering if it had ignored other poor people in the state.

The Sharad Pawar-led party referred to the state’s existing ‘Mahatma Phule Janarogya Yojana’, which insures a total of 2.2 crore below poverty line (BPL) families. “Only 84 lakh families from the state are registered under the scheme. The existing Mahatma Phule Janarogya Yojana gives insurance cover to 2.2 crore families.

“Has the government ignored the remaining 1.25 crore families below the poverty line?” senior NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Dhananjay Munde, Jayant Patil, Supriya Sule and Nawab Malik asked in a post on their respective Twitter accounts. The leaders raised the issue under the party’s “56 questions to those with 56-inch chest” – an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi had claimed at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh that only a person with a “56-inch chest” (implying a bold approach) could solve problems faced by the country. PM Modi had Sunday rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)-Ayushman Bharat, and termed it a “game-changer initiative to serve the poor”. The health scheme will set an example for countries across the world, he had said.

The ambitious scheme aims to provide coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 50 crore people for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of empanelled health care providers.

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