The Chhattisgarh government has scrapped the monthly pension scheme for those jailed under MISA during Emergency, triggering a political controversy. The money will now be used for employment schemes, says the government.
“Are they freedom fighters that they should get pension,” asked CM Bhupesh Baghel, justifying the decision. BJP leaders said they will challenge this in court. The Congress government in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, too, had suspended MISA pension in January 2019 after it came to power, but a high court has since ordered the pension restored.
The general administration department issued the order on Thursday, saying MISA pension started by the previous BJP government on August 5, 2008, has been revoked. “Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan Samman Nidhi has been repealed,” it said.
There are about 300 MISA pension beneficiaries in Chhattisgarh, who are given Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per month depending on the time they spent behind bars between 1975 and 1977.