PM Kisan: Why Mamata is resisting implementation in Bengal?

PM Kisan: Why Mamata is resisting implementation in Bengal?

Over the last 18 months, Mamata has been constantly resisting Central Government programmes. While there may be some merits in opposing the Ayushman Bharat Scheme (State Funding is 40%), there appears to be no technical reason atleast for opposing PM Kisan Scheme. Or there is?

PM Kisan vs Krishak Bondhu Scheme

Bengal Launched a Krishak Bondhu Scheme (Modelled on the Rythu Bandhu Scheme) in December of 2018 (much before the PM Kisan scheme)

PM Kisan: Why Mamata is resisting  implementation in Bengal?

The scheme details are as follows

  • Farmers with one or more acre land holding entitled for 5000/- per annum (Rabi & Kharif Season) assistance with minimum 2000/- per annum assistance pro rata basis
  • Under Death Benefit Scheme farm family will get one time lump sum 2 lakh.

Mamata refused to implement the PM Kisan scheme before the election in 2019 as both her and PM Modi’s schemes were launched to benefit in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election. Not just her, numerous opposition ruled states did not cooperate with the Centre during March-April of 2019 to prevent loss of votes to BJP. Here is a list that was compiled by Business Standard

No List Sent as of April 2019 (During the election):  Delhi, Karnataka,, Madhya Pradesh,, Rajasthan and West Bengal – All Opposition ruled States

Partial Lists Sent as of April 2019 (During the election):  Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand: A mix of BJP ruled and opposition ruled States.

Eventually, after the election every state came fully on board except Bengal.

Two reasons why Bengal did not come on board

  1. None of the big opposition ruled States (apart from Delhi) were facing an election until 2021. Delhi is an Urban State and in Tamil Nadu AIADMK is a BJP ally. Kerala is not dependent on Agriculture as much as other States. That leaves only one State – Bengal
  2. Apart from it being an opposition ruled State, it is one state where BJP made the most progress in the Lok Sabha election in 2019 scaring the hell out of the TMC. That threat remains and may have gotten worse this year

In sum, Mamata sees a huge threat to her chances if PM Kisan reaches voters. Perhaps her original plan just like other states was to allow PM Kisan to go through after the Lok Sabha Election in 2019. However, the dramatic performance of the BJP in Bengal in Lok Sabha 2019 meant that allowing the transfer of funds to rural voters would worsen for TMC what was a deteriorating situation in any case. Politically, she has limited options. Accepting the money would make things worse for her while not accepting too would be worse but perhaps could be explained by other reasons.

Tough days ahead for Mamata

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