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Kalyani: West Bengal government has withdrawn from the Narendra Modi-government’s much-hyped Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme and, has announced that it will not contribute its share as is required under the scheme.

Ayushman Bharat, launched last year, aims to provide health insurance coverage to 10-crore under-privileged families all over India without taking any contribution from them.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced in a public meeting at Ranaghat in Nadia that the state government will not remain a party to this.

The immediate trigger for her announcement was health insurance letters that have been recently sent to some beneficiaries in Bengal which allegedly bears the Prime Minister’s photo and the logo of Ayushman Bharat, which happens to be a flower.

“I saw one such letter today wherein instead of the national emblem, the photo of the Prime Minister and a logo resembling a lotus have been printed. This is not the lotus of our deities; it is the logo of racketeering and corruption,” she said.

“Centre wants to run the health insurance scheme but has not allocated a single additional penny for it. The states are required to contribute 40 per cent and the remaining 60 per cent by the Centre. But they are trying to publicise this as solely a Central scheme.”

“Hence, let me announce that we will not contribute anything to the scheme. If the Centre so wishes they should run the scheme on its own,” the Bengal CM said.

She alleged that employees of post offices were being sent to door to door with pamphlets printed with PM Modi’s photograph.

“Is this the job of a post office employee? Such things have never happened in the past. They are out to destroy our Central institutes.”

Banerjee said that the Centre must keep in mind that whatever funds it gives to the states are from the taxes that are collected from the states.

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