Mamata hints at implementing PM Kisan scheme; Bengal to hold assembly session to pass resolution against farm laws
Kolkata: Continuing her tirade against the Centre over the new farm laws, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said arrangements would soon be made to convene an assembly session to pass a resolution against the contentious Acts.
With assembly polls knocking at the door, Banerjee also hinted that she was ready to implement the PM-Kisan scheme in Bengal, if the farmers benefitted out of it and said she had asked the Centre to share details of all those who have registered themselves on the Union government's portal for the programme.
Banerjee, however, asserted that said she would never allow the implementation of the three farm laws, which have sparked protests across the country.
"We are against those farm laws. We would soon convene an assembly session for a day or two and pass a resolution against the anti-farmer laws," Banerjee said.
Bengal, if it passes the resolution, would become the sixth state in the country to do so, after Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
The CM's remarks came on a day when the seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three central ministers ended inconclusively, as farmer groups stuck to their demand for repeal of the three farm laws, while the government listed out various benefits of the new Acts for the growth of the country's agriculture sector.
"I support the farmers and want the withdrawal of these three laws for the sake of the country," she said, slamming the Centre for not revoking the Acts.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at Delhi borders for over a month against the three laws. They have stayed put despite heavy rain and waterlogging at protest sites over the last couple of days, besides severe cold weather conditions prevailing in and around the national capital.
Accusing the Centre of "pursuing politics" over the issue of implementation of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi in Bengal, Banerjee said she wouldn't let the farmers suffer.
"I had repeatedly asked the Centre to transfer funds allotted under the PM-Kisan scheme to the state government.
That was never done. They (central government officials) claimed that around 21.7 lakh farmers from Bengal had registered themselves on a portal to get the benefits of the scheme.
"They (Centre) have sought verification of this data.
I understood that the Centre was trying to politicise the matter. We also realised that farmers should not suffer because of this... I have asked the Centre to pass on the data so that we can start the verification process," she said.
Under the PM-Kisan scheme, an income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments is provided to small and marginal farmer families.
The chief minister further added that she wants that farmers get all possible help, in addition to the assistance being doled out by her government.
"I want the farmers to get all benefits. We do have our schemes, but if they get extra benefits... let them avail it. I don't have any problem if they get the benefits.
However, if the Centre doesn't trust us with the verification process, then it is up to them," she added.
Banerjee had in the past opposed the implementation of central schemes, saying that her government would allow PM- Kisan Samman Nidhi and Ayushman Bharat programmes in the state, only if funds to the beneficiaries are routed through the state government.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya welcomed the decision of Banerjee to allow farmers to avail PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme.
"It is good that the state government has decided to allow it. This will benefit lakhs of farmers of Bengal. And the farmers would realize the kind of politics the TMC was pursuing by depriving them of its benefits," he said.