The ruling BJP is defending by saying that the list of beneficiaries was made in 2011 when Congress was in power.
Chandigarh: With the launch of Ayushman Bharat Yojana — health insurance to poor families — in Haryana, a major controversy has erupted as the name of a former state minister has appeared as a beneficiary of the scheme, apart from the names of some other economically sound people.
The controversy has snowballed into a major slugfest between the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress. The Congress party is saying that the scheme has been launched in haste keeping in view the coming elections. The ruling BJP is defending by saying that the list of beneficiaries was made in 2011 when Congress was in power.
While the health protection scheme, which was launched recently, is meant for people belonging to the poor economic and social strata, the name of former minister A.C. Chaudhary, who is a resident of Faridabad, among the list of beneficiaries surprised everyone.
It was reported that besides his name, some of his neighbours who might not be eligible on the parameters required for the scheme, have also found a place on the list.
It is claimed that Mr Chaudhary had been declared socially and economically backward as per the list prepared in the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) seven years ago.
The Union minister of state for social justice Krishan Pal Gurjar, when told about the flaw, expressed surprise.
He said as Mr Chaudhary or his family members were not eligible for the scheme as per the parameters required for selection of the beneficiaries, it was a matter that needed to be probed. A probe would be conducted into it, he said.
Mr Chaudhary had been elected MLA three times in 1982, 1991 and 2005. He had also served as minister up to 1996.
Meanwhile, the former minister said he was not aware how his name got included in the list that was prepared in 2011 under the SECC. He said it was the duty of officials concerned to verify the eligibility of beneficiaries. The former minister said that the scheme has been implemented in haste. “I get more than `1 lakh pension. I don’t need any kind of benefit. The people who need the benefit should get it. It is an attempt to malign my image. I am thinking to sue the department concerned,” he added.
On the other hand, Haryana health minister Anil Vij has said that the survey for beneficiaries was done in 2011 when Congress was in power. Therefore, Mr Chaudhary is advised to register the case against Congress leaders who were in power during that time.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar even hinted at expanding the list of beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana that offers health insurance coverage of `5 lakh per family annually.
He said that medical treatment, especially in private institutes, has become very costly. For treating chronic diseases, some families were forced to sell their assets. But this scheme will provide respite to such people.