RAIPUR: The Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh government has repealed the Act framed by the earlier BJP government led by Raman Singh on the monthly pension scheme to people jailed under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the 1975-77 Emergency period.
After the government took charge in Chattisgarh in January 2019, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel placed instructions for physical verification of all beneficiaries of MISA pensions.
Subsequently, all commissioners and the district collectors had stopped the pension from February 1, 2019.
Justifying his government’s decision Baghel had asserted that such people cannot be called 'freedom fighters'.
“MISA detainees are not freedom fighters so why should they be entitled for such pensions,” Baghel had then said after putting the disbursement of the pension on hold.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh BJP has been strongly protesting against discontinuation of the pension and many MISA beneficiaries approached the high court against the move of the state government.
“Nullifying of the rules is an admission by the state government on the existence of such regulations on pension which is denied to the beneficiaries who were not only from BJP and RSS. Even the High Court requested releasing pension to those who approached it for judicial remedy. The court didn’t pass any adverse remark on the Act.
"After the official gazette notification, out legal option remains open and we are consulting the lawyers,” BJP leader Sachchidanand Upasane who is the national vice president of the Loktantra Sewani Sangh told the Express.
The previous BJP government offered a monthly pension of Rs 25,000 to detainees under the MISA. In Chhattisgarh, over 200 persons are cited as MISA beneficiaries.
“We heartily welcome the government’s decision on accepting our demand to annul the MISA-2008, launched for political reasons only to benefit the BJP and the RSS leaders as ‘Samman Nidhi’ at the cost of the state exchequer.
"The huge pension amount was gross misuse of the state funds which can now be used in the welfare of the masses. The leaders benefitted under MISA neither played any role in freedom struggle or did anything revolutionary”, said Vikas Tiwari Congress spokesperson who was campaigning against MISA.