THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: and central government ministers on Sunday sparred over the state-level inauguration of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme for providing financial support to .
While the state government inaugurated the programme at an event in Kottayam on Sunday, Union tourism minister Alphons Kannanthanam inaugurated it at a function at the Central Tuber Corps Research Institute (CTCRI) here. No state government representatives, including local legislator and tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran, were invited for the event in which a bunch of BJP leaders were present.
“Attempts to project government schemes as party projects are unfortunate. This is an unfair practice and shows political immaturity. It‘s sheer snobbery. If the central government wanted to organize a state-level inauguration, they should have intimated the state government,” said agriculture minister V S Sunilkumar after launching the programme at Kottayam.
Responding to the state minister‘s criticism, Kannanthanam said the function was organized only to watch the national launch of the programme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
“We don‘t use the kind of words some leaders here use. There was no inauguration here. It happened in Gorakhpur. Here we only witnessed the original programme,” he said adding that the state government has a practice denying due credit to central government schemes. “The government here takes all money from the Centre and launches programmes under different names. It‘s not fair,” Alphons said.
The state and Centre had locked horns recently when Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to inaugurate the Kollam bypass, which chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was planning to open to public.
PM-KISAN, announced by Union minister Piyush Goyal during the interim budget, is a scheme in which 120 million small and marginal farmers who have less than two hectares (4.9 acres) of landholding will get up to Rs 6,000 per year as minimum income support in three instalments.