Vikash Sharma

A day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik slammed some of the schemes and allocations in Union Budget 2023 including the Centre’s public health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat; the state BJP unit on Thursday termed the BJD chief’s remark as a political statement.

On Thursday, Odisha BJP president, Samir Mohanty raked up the issue of massive corruption and irregularities in Odisha government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY).

“Odisha CM’s statements in which he drew a comparison between Ayushman Bharat and BSKY, seem politically motivated and it appears that ego has crept in,” said Mohanty.

Addressing a presser, Mohanty further said that the recent misuse of BSKY cards by a private hospital in Cuttack clearly suggests that the scheme is riddled with corruption.

“The way CM Naveen hailed the budget and gave such political remarks is totally unacceptable from a person who has remained in power for last 23 years,” said Mohanty.

Earlier on Wednesday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik drew a comparison between state government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) and Ayushman Bharat.

Patnaik had said, “The budget provision for Ayushman Bharat ‘PMJAY’ is Rs 7. 2 thousand crores for the entire country while Odisha spends almost about Rs 2.4 thousand crores on BSKY in private facilities alone. If we include Government facilities it would be around Rs 6 thousand crores annually.”

“I hope the Odisha BJP leaders will stop misleading people on Ayushman Bharat,” the CM had said yesterday.

BJD spokesperson, Sreemayee Mishra said, “In the Union budget 2023, allocation for Ayushman Bharat is Rs 7200 crore for the whole country. Odisha’s budget for BSKY is nearly Rs 6000 crores annually. If Ayushman Bharat gets implemented in Odisha, then the State's share will be Rs 200 crore.”

Reacting to CM’s statements, BJP MLA Suryavanshi Suraj said, “'It does not look good on a CM to make such statements.  Odisha No.1 in Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) card holders. 25 lakh prabasi Odias being deprived of Ayushman Bharat.”

(Reported by Harihar Chand and Pitabas Das)