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‘No proposal to rename health scheme named after Rajiv Gandhi’

Maharashtra government has no plans to rename the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yogana’, a health care scheme for the economically poor sections of the society, state Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse said.

Khadse told reporters that there is no proposal to rename the scheme after Shiv Sena supremo late Bal Thackeray.

Opposition Congress had last week asked the BJP-led government to refrain from bringing politics in welfare schemes over its move to rename the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana’ after Thackeray.

In a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state unit Congress president Ashok Chavan had suggested that the government should focus on improving the quality and scope of the scheme so that the maximum number of citizens get healthcare facilities.

“Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee scheme was a flagship programme of the Congress regime to provide heathery to economically backward people. In the last few years, the scheme has benefited large sections of the society. Renaming the scheme by making minor changes would be inappropriate,” Chavan had said.

When asked about it today, Khadse said the government has no proposal to rename the scheme.

“I don’t think the scheme will be renamed. It would smack of political bias. There are few instances in the state where flagship schemes of previous governments have been renamed after a new dispensation took charge. New governments have continued to old schemes and started new ones in name of their own leaders,” Khadse said referring to his government’s new schemes like Deendayal Upadhyay Gharkul Yojana and Pramod Mahajan Skilled Development Scheme.

Shiv Sena, which is partner in the Maharashtra government wants the scheme to be named after Bal Thackeray and Health Minister Deepak Sawant had earlier said that a proposal would be sent to the Cabinet.

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