Just days after changing its stand on the issue of the implementation of the Centre's new farm laws, the Telangana government made yet another U-turn, this time by accepting the Centre's Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
Speaking on the matter, Health Minister Etala Rajender announced that the state government was now going to work towards linking the scheme with the state's own Arogyasri health scheme.
"The Telangana government has agreed to dovetail with the Ayushman Bharat health program as this will be beneficial to the people of the state. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar had communicated the decision to the Centre at a virtual meeting on the matter, last evening. We also appealed to the Centre to extend aid worth Rs 300 crore for the same," Rajender said.
Explaining the move, he added that while Arogyasri was the better scheme, benefitting about 80 lakh people, adopting the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which benefitted only about 26 lakh people, would allow the government to help more people in the state.
The decision comes as a shock because Telangana was one of the few states in the country that had initially refused to implement the Modi government's Ayushman Bharat scheme. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had even gone as far as to say that the scheme was but a "poor cousin" of Arogyasri.
Since the change in the government's stand on the issue follows the CM's recent meeting with the Prime Minister
in Delhi, and his subsequent volte face on the issue of the implementation of the three new farm Acts, the decision has raised many eyebrows, and has prompted the Opposition to accuse the CM of kowtowing to the saffron party's leadership to secure his own political position.