Adani row: Gehlot says future of employees cannot be left to the mercy of share market

The chief minister said the old pension scheme (OPS) should be reintroduced in the entire country

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Gautam Adani
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Gautam Adani


Referring to the rout in Adani group stocks, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the future of government employees cannot be left to the mercy of the share market and added his government reintroduced the old pension scheme as funds under the new scheme were invested in shares.

The chief minister said the old pension scheme (OPS) should be reintroduced in the entire country.

He said the Centre should return the funds of the state government employees deposited in the new pension scheme (NPS), else the state government will move the Supreme Court.

"Employees are our brothers and we cannot leave them to the mercy of the share market. Shares of Adani Saab have fallen and there is a turmoil in the entire country and abroad. Shares of those who have given loans (to Adani group) have fallen including SBI and LIC," Gehlot said.

He was replying to a discussion on the governor's address to the state assembly.

Gehlot said the entire NPS fund is being pumped into the share market and this argument was given by the state government when it implemented the old pension scheme (OPS) in the state.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should answer why he wants NPS to continue.

"I would like to say again that the entire House should unite to talk about it. OPS will have to be implemented - today or tomorrow. The Centre is not giving us our money deposited in the NPS. It is our money. If they will not give, then we will move the Supreme Court," Gehlot said.

Rebuffing the claim of the leader of the opposition that the Centre is trying to take all sections of society together, Gehlot said there cannot be a bigger lie than the claim that the NDA government takes all religions and castes together.

"This is the issue of our party. This is what Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra campaign is all about...there should be peace, brotherhood and love in the country. This is our thinking. We think that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains should all remain united in the country," the senior Congress leader said.

He said there is not a single Muslim member from the BJP in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

"What kind of democracy do you talk about, do you have democratic thinking? There is a 20 per cent population of such a big religion and your party did not give a single ticket. It neither gave a ticket in Lok Sabha nor in Uttar Pradesh. It did not allow any Muslim to enter Rajya Sabha (on its ticket). How can you say that you take everyone along," he said targeting the opposition BJP.

The chief minister said his government has fulfilled 80 per cent of its poll promises and the work is underway on the remaining promises.

Referring to the management of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, he said it was "a game changer and our government will be repeated in the state." He said that despite adverse conditions, the state's economic growth rate in the year 2021-22 was 11.04 per cent and it was second in the country after Andhra Pradesh.

He said that question paper leaks are a problem in the entire country, but Rajasthan is a state where people involved in them were jailed, their buildings demolished and a law was enacted to punish such culprits.

After Gehlot's reply, the House passed the motion of thanks on the governor's speech by voice vote.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria cornered the government on various issues and targeted it for a large number of vacant posts of teachers in schools.

He also raised questions over paper leaks of recruitment examinations in the state and demanded catching the big sharks instead of arresting middlemen.

The Budget Session of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly began on January 23. Gehlot will present the budget for the financial year 2023-24 on February 10.

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