Bhopal: A day after the Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government suspended the BJP's pension scheme to MISA detainees, a senior minister blazed guns at former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for being a beneficiary of the scheme despite being an income tax payer.
During the Emergency period (1975-77) imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, thousands of people were detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) across the country. Those detained included, mainly, members of the opposition parties as well as organisations such as the Rashtriya Swaymsevak Sangh (RSS).
Govind Singh, the Minister for General Administration Department, slammed the former CM for accepting the pension of Rs 25,000 every month. “Had Shivraj some morality, he would have never accepted it. The state exchequer has inflicted a loss of Rs 60 crore per annum in the name of this pension,” the Minister told News18.
Claiming that those incarcerated during Emergency were jailed over violation of law, Singh said, “The BJP doled out the pension to its own men and looted the government funds.”
“There is no need to provide pension to capitalists like the former Chief Minister,” said the Lahar MLA.
Responding to Singh’s remarks, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “It’s an honourarium for braving lathis at the age of 17, and not pension. I still feel the pain of bashing in my body during winters”
“Let’s rather ask the Congress to remember the Emergency period not beat around the bush. MISA pension is given by ten states. What was my fault and thousands like me who were stuffed in jails,” Chouhan flayed the Congress Minister.
Notably, a government order dated December 29 said the officials have been directed to carry out physical verification of former MISA detainees, and until this exercise is over, the monthly pension of Rs 25,000 should not be paid. It also cited auditors' objections to the scheme.
The BJP has strongly opposed the decision.