Congress slams Yogi govt for playing politics with pension schemes

The Yogi government has halved the pension for Yash Bharati awardees saying that the selection criteria of awardees was lopsided and only a chosen few were selected for the award

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

Biswajeet Banerjee

Congress has questioned Yogi Government’s decision to curtail pensions of Yash Bharati recipients as the pension of Yash Bharati awardees have been halved while that of Loktantra Senani has been hiked.

Loktantra Senani are those people who were jailed as political prisoners during Emergency. They were booked under MISA and other acts.

“Why is there politics on pension. Yogi government has halved the pension of Yash Bharati Awardess while that of Loktantra Senani has been increased. What is the justification about this move,” asked senior Congress leader Amarnath Agarwal.

Yash Bharati was instituted by Mulayam Singh Yadav where people, who belonged to Uttar Pradesh and had excelled in different fields were felicitated by the Government. His son Akhilesh Yadav continued with this award but in the interregnum period of Mayawati’s rule, it was shelved.

Government has increased the pension of Loktantra senani from ₹15,000 to ₹20,000 per month. This hike will have an additional burden of ₹35.50 crore on the state exchequer

Akhilesh had also started pension scheme for the Yash Bharati recipients under which winners were given ₹50,000 per month.

The Yogi government stopped the pension for Yash Bharati awardees saying that the selection criteria of awardees was lopsided and only a chosen few were selected for the award. Some of the Yash Bharati recipients had met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath requesting him to revive the pension scheme because some of the awardees were really very poor. Even noted poet Gopaldas Neeraj met Chief Minister and advocated the revival of Yash Bharati Pension scheme.

The Government did revive the scheme but two days after the death of Neeraj but with a rider that only those awardees who do not pay Income Tax will get pension. Even the pension amount was reduced from ₹50,000 to ₹25,000 per month.

On the other hand the Government has increased the pension of Loktantra Senani from ₹15,000 to ₹20,000 per month. This hike will have an additional burden of ₹35.50 crore on the state exchequer.

“The pension of Loktantra Senani was increased because the list includes many leaders from saffron outfit while those who had brought laurels to the state in the field of art, sports, literarature and film have been given a cold shoulder,” pointed out Agarwal.

Congress law maker Deepak Singh said that Government has imposed riders for to avail the pension in case of Yash Bharati recipients but it is not there for the Loktantra Senanis. “Why there are two rules for pensioners. Government should ensure that even among Loktantra Senanis, income tax payees should not get pension,” said Singh, who is also the leader of the Congress legislature party in UP Vidhan Parishad.

He said some of Loktantra Senanis are now MPs and MLAs or were former law makers. They are also getting salary or pension as law maker. “I do not understand the dual policy of the government,” he said.

Singh declared that Congress will raise this issue in the Vidhan Sabha in the coming Monsoon session of the state legislature.

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