Mandirbazar, West Bengal:
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of making false claims of providing crop insurance to farmers in West Bengal, and said the state has paid 80 per cent of the insurance payout.
The Narendra Modi government had never been serious about the well-being of farmers and the BJP is misleading the people, Ms Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, told a public meeting in South 24 Parganas district.
“The Centre is making false claim about paying the entire crop insurance amount to farmers. The Centre pays 20 per cent of the total crop insurance amount, and the rest 80 per cent is paid by the state,” Ms Banerjee said.
Ms Banerjee is a strident critic of the BJP and among the foremost opposition leaders against it.
She said her government has taken a slew of measures for farmers, including raising the minimum support price for paddy and taking steps to ensure direct cheque payment to farmers at paddy procurement centres by removing middlemen.
The chief minister cautioned middlemen against exploiting farmers or misguiding them by paying them less for paddy procurement.
Continuing her tirade against the BJP, she blamed the saffron party for committing atrocities on members of the minority community and Dalits.
“We (TMC) have never been influenced by the political colour, if any, of the recipients and only went by eligibility criteria,” she said, and cited welfare schemes like ‘Kanyashree’ introduced by her government.
The Kanyashree Prakalpa seeks to improve the status and well-being of girls, specifically those from socio-economically disadvantaged families through conditional cash transfers.
Ms Banerjee said three of her party supporters were recently killed in South 24 Parganas district, and offered all help from the party to their families.