Under the MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security) Act, the government of Madhya Pradesh has put on hold pension of those detained, who were during an emergency. The scheme was introduced by the BJP government.
Weeks after returning back to power, state-ruled Congress government has passed an order, which direct officials to hold monthly pension of Rs. 25000 until physical verification of ex-MISA detainee is over. It further cited objections of the auditor to the scheme.
This initiative taken by Congress has drawn sharp criticism from the centre-ruling BJP. BJP General Secretary V D Sharma said, “Great injustice has been done to the people from all sections of society who had opposed and suffered a lot during the Emergency that had been imposed to hound people and stifle the democracy.”
“The victims were not affiliated to a particular ideology,” said Mr. Sharma, adding that “we are going to oppose the Congress government’s decision tooth and nail.”
Congress spokesman Narendra Saluja said that the order doesn’t scrap the pension scheme but only talks about necessary exercise, which is prior to the disbursement of money. BJP has raised a hue and cry for no reason, claims Mr. Saluja.
However, Congress sources said that the party leaders believed that most of the pension beneficiaries were affiliated to BJP or the Sangh Parivar.
Annually, MISA pension amounted Rs. 70 to 75 crore to the state coffers, reports government sources.
During the Emergency, which was introduced by the state-ruling Congress government led by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi between the regime 1975 to 1977, thousands of people were arrested under MISA across the nation.
Those who were arrested included, mostly members of opposition parties and organizations, like RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh).
The pension scheme was termed as Loknayak Jayprakash Samman Nidhi was introduced by BJP government led by then Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh in 2008 and last year it was enshrined into law.
Ex-Chief Minister Babulal Gaur was detained for 19 months during the Emergency and seeks pension under the pension scheme, said that he would not comment over the issue.