Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s Rule in June this year, after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti resigned as the chief minister suddenly, but not unexpectedly.
Earlier, PDP alliance partner, BJP had pulled out of the Mehbooba government citing worsening security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The fast-paced political development meant that the state will be under the Governor’s Rule for the ninth time since 1977.
On 20th September, Jammu and Kashmir administration which is now under Governor’s rule rolled out a group mediclaim health insurance scheme for employees, pensioners and accredited journalists. The Central Government ordered the employees to purchase the Health Insurance from ‘Reliance General Health Insurance Company Ltd’ which is a private company, instead of directing them to the state-owned insurance group ‘LIC’ (Life Insurance Company)
The intimation issued by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir read,
“The policy has been tied with M/s Reliance General Health Insurance Company Ltd on annual premium of Rs. 8,777 and Rs. 22, 229 (for employees and pensioners respectively).”
It further emphasised that the policy was compulsory stating,
“The policy is mandatory for all the state government employees (Gazetted as well as Non-gazetted), State Universities, Commissions, Autonomous Bodies and PSUs,” it added.
Congress leader Salman Nizami was one of the first to question PM Narendra Modi for promoting Ambani-owned Reliance company through government employees and schemes. On 26th September, he tweeted,
“If you want an insight into how Modi is invested to prop up Reliance, look no further than J&K where all Govt employees are being forced to buy Reliance insurance policy but not Govt’s LIC wd out bidding. Premium collection wd be 8000 crore per Annum!”
He also attached the following notification issued by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir
“The biggest question is…Why Reliance and Why not LIC? Why Jio and Why not BSNL/MTNL? Why Reliance Defense and Why not HAL?”
In his quote he directly attacked and questioned the crony capitalism which has been demonstrated time and again by the Central government.
Furthermore, Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) in Jammu has also objected to the move.
“It is just to benefit a particular company that Govt employees are being made scape goats. It is totally unjustified and a big burden on State Govt employees in specific the non- gazetted cadre,” the employees body said.
It also implied that “the same annual premium of Mediclaim Insurance Policy for all category of Government employees was “unfair, unjustified and unacceptable.”
“The annual premium was fixed nearly about Rs. 5300 while giving the same amount of insurance cover but now a deal has been struck Reliance Insurance with more than 65% increase annual premium that is Rs. 8770 of Reliance Insurance from Rs. 5300 of ICICI Bank, we smell a rat in it,” the daily quoted the committee as saying.
Allegations of handing over plum government projects to a handful of private players have recently only grown against the Narendra Modi government, subsequently gaining much media attention lately. First, reports suggested that the BJP government bent rules to award Institute of Eminence tag to Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio Institute.
Similar allegations surfaced with respect to the Rafale deal struck by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, which benefits industrialist Anil Ambani’s company with no experience in defence or aircraft manufacturing.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi did not miss yet another chance to call out Narendra Modi for his deeply rooted favouritism to only a handful of industrialists in the country.
With Inputs from PTI