In a major development, the Maharashtra government on Saturday issued a government resolution to stop pensions for the people who were jailed during the 1975-77 emergency period. Opining that the Emergency pension caused 'heavy losses to the state exchequer due to COVID-19 and lockdown', the Uddhav government scrapped the pension scheme that was rolled out by Devendra Fadnavis government in 2018. Incidentally, Shiv Sena was a part of the 2018 Fadnavis government and has supported the scheme.
Thus, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government comprising of Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena will not pay Rs 10,000 that was being paid to all those who had spent more than a month in jail during Emergency and Rs 5,000 to those who had spent lesser time.
The Congress government in Chhattisgarh in January this year had scrapped the pension scheme launched by the earlier BJP administration for those detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The gazette notification issued by the General Administration Department stated that Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan (MISA/Defence of India Rules (DIR) DIR detainees) Samman Nidhi Rule, 2008, is repealed. The MISA pension scheme was meant for people jailed during the Emergency which was in force from June 25, 1975, to March 31, 1977.
On December 29 last year, Madhya Pradesh government order directed officials to carry out physical verification of former MISA detainees and to withhold the monthly pension of Rs 25,000 until completion of the exercise. The MISA pension costs the state more than Rs 68 crore annually, according to government sources. The pension scheme - Loknayak Jayprakash Samman Nidhi, was started by the then Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in 2008.
READ | Coronavirus Live Updates
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the wee hours of June 26, 1975, announced a nationwide Emergency. Announcing it from AIR's studio, she said that President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed had proclaimed Emergency citing internal disturbance and 'there is nothing to panic'. As the Emergency kicked in, Delhi went into darkness due to power cut, to stop newspapers from printing. Massive arrests followed in the next 21 months. Fundamental rights and civil rights were curbed and many if those who Opposed Congress' high handedness, brutal repression were incarcerated under the aegis of Sanjay Gandhi, including many current BJP leaders as well.