In another U-turn, KCR decides to implement Center’s Ayushman Bharat programNews

Abandoning its confrontational stance against the Center, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government, headed by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, decided to implement Ayushman Bharat’s central plan, which it had opposed for two years.

The decision to implement the program was communicated to the Center by Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar during a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

“The Chief Secretary informed the Prime Minister that the Chief Minister has made the decision to reconcile the Arogyasri health program of the Telangana government with the Ayushman Bharat program of the government of India,” a brief note said. official state government.

Health Minister Eatala Rajender said on Thursday that the state government has decided in principle to implement the Ayushman Bharat Center program in the state from this year. “Whether it is a central system or a state system, it will only be implemented with public money,” he said.

Since Ayushman Bharat was introduced in September 2018, KCR, as the chief minister of Telangana is known, has firmly resisted it and refused to implement it in Telangana, claiming that his government’s Arogyasri program was much better than Ayushman Bharat, which would hardly benefit. a few lakh people.

He even said that Ayushman Bharat was a bad imitation of the Arogyasri plan of Telangana. In the 2019 general election, BJP leaders, including Union Home Secretary Amit Shah, made it a big deal during their campaign, accusing KCR of denying Ayushman Bharat’s benefits to the poor. .

“It’s good that KCR has changed its mind about Ayushman Bharat. But he should apologize to the people of Telangana for refusing to implement the program for the past two years, ”said BJP President Bandi Sanjay.

The KCR’s shift in stance on Ayushman Bharat comes within three days of its U-turn on the implementation of the contentious central agricultural laws. It was not until Sunday that the chief minister said the state government would no longer be involved in the sale and purchase of agricultural products, as new agricultural laws were enforced across the country.

Stating that the government suffered a loss of Rs 7,500 crore on the purchase of agricultural products last season to ensure the minimum support price (MSP) for farmers affected by the pandemic, he said the state was not a business organization or trader to purchase the products each year.

Only a few months ago, the TRS voted against agricultural bills in Parliament. Party leaders made strong statements against the agriculture bills and also took part in the Bharat Bandh program which was held in the first week of December.

KCR even announced that it would hold a national conclave in Hyderabad in the third week of December consolidating all anti-BJP forces to fight the Center’s agricultural laws.

Senior journalist and political analyst Suresh Dharur said the KCR’s shift in stance towards the Modi government was fairly evident after his Telangana Rashtra Samithi faced shocking debacles in the Dubbak Assembly by-elections in November and elections for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in early December.

“Apparently, the KCR felt that the Bharatiya Janata party is emerging as a powerful force. If it continues to adopt a confrontational stance towards the Center, it will lose further ground to the BJP in the state. That’s why he decided to abandon his anti-Modi stance, ”Dharur said.

According to him, the KCR appears to be following the path of Naveen Patnaik and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, his counterparts in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, respectively, of approaching the central leadership of the BJP, thus obtaining maximum benefits for the Status in the form of new project approvals and additional funds.

“If the KCR remains friendly with the Center, the state-level BJP leadership will have no chance of becoming aggressive against the TRS. It will also create a kind of confusion among the BJP cadres, ”observed Dharur.