Bhubaneswar, September 26, 2018: Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president attacked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for keeping Odisha out of Ayushman Bharat, BJP Odisha unit on Wednesday decided to launch a signature campaign from September 30 to October 7 to create awareness about the central scheme across the State.
“BJP will launch signature campaign from September 30 to October 7 to create awareness about Ayushman Bharat scheme as Odisha Government is not implementing the programme for mere political reasons,” said party Odisha unit president Basant Panda in a press conference at the party headquarters here.
During the campaign, the party aimed at collecting around one crore signatures.
During his one-day Odisha visit on Saturday, Prime Minister Modi and party national president Amit Shah took on Chief Minister Patnaik.
Addressing a public meeting in Talcher, Modi slammed Patnaik for not adopting the health insurance scheme and said, “I fail to understand why Naveen Babu doesn’t understand its benefit. Without it (the State joining the scheme), a large number of poor people in Odisha would be deprived of the benefits. And I can’t serve you (people of Odisha).”
The PM said the State’s own health assurance scheme Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojna (BSKY) has limitations while the Central scheme can serve even when people of the state travel outside Odisha for medical treatment.
The Central scheme aims to provide Rs 5 lakh health insurance coverage per family annually to more than 10 crore poor households across the country.
However, the Odisha Government has not joined the central scheme, saying it has introduced a better programme, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, in the State.
The State Government argued that the State’s scheme covers an extra 50 lakh people which the Centre’s scheme does not provide for. While the State provides Rs 7 lakh for women under the BSKY the Central scheme assures only Rs 5 lakh.