Old pension scheme should be implemented across India: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot addresses a press conference, in Shimla.

Shimla, Nov 8 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said the old pension scheme should be implemented across the country and those saying it will put a burden on the exchequer are not right as it is all about financial management.

Addressing a press conference here ahead of the November 12 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, Gehlot said the Congress government in Rajasthan has implemented the old pension scheme (OPS) and those saying only an announcement has been made are trying to mislead people.

“We have implemented it in our state,” he said.

Gehlot said the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh has formed a committee on the issue of OPS, which is only a tactic to divert people’s attention before the polls as the government employees in the hill state have been staging protests demanding its implementation.

Talking about Rajasthan, the veteran Congress leader said, “Just imagine, there was no demand for this (OPS). When I announced (that the old scheme will be implemented), the employees were surprised. I am convinced that the OPS should be implemented in the country and a day will come when the Centre will have to do it.” He also claimed that the Centre is not even ready to discuss the OPS.

“In Himachal, they (BJP) formed committee only to divert attention…. If the government’s intention was clear, it should have announced that the scheme will be implemented,” Gehlot said.

He pointed out that there is no provision for family pension or gratuity under the new scheme.

“They claim that the OPS will entail a financial burden. I want to ask that from 1947 to 2004, when the OPS was in place, was development stalled in the country? It is all about financial management and Congress governments know how to do financial management,” he said.

Gehlot said a government employee also serves the country, dedicating nearly 35 years of his life to his job.

There is a rising demand in favour of the OPS among government employees in various parts of the country, he said, adding that if the Centre continues to ignore it, the morale of the employees and, in turn, governance will be affected.

Gehlot also slammed the Narendra Modi government at the Centre on several other fronts.

He said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra” is getting a good response, which has rattled the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The situation in the country today is very serious. The Constitution is being trampled, the judiciary is under pressure, democracy is in danger,” Gehlot said.

Voices of dissent are not being tolerated and the dissenters are being branded as anti-nationals and put behind bars, he added.

“Income tax, ED, CBI raids are being carried out on political opponents. Before polls, it is being assessed who all will help the Congress, who can make donations to us. First, a list is prepared and then, raids are conducted,” Gehlot alleged.

“Another model launched in the country by (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (Union Home Minister Amit) Shah is to topple elected governments. This happened in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and in Rajasthan, a similar situation was created,” he said.

Asked by a reporter about the BJP contesting the Himachal Pradesh polls in Modi’s name, the Congress leader used a Hindi proverb, “bakre ki ma kab tak khair manayegi”, and said, “They have decided that they will do politics by projecting Modi’s face. But for how long? Modi’s own graph is coming down.” On a question on demonetisation, Gehlot asked whether the decision taken four years ago to scrap high-value currency notes has put an end to black money and fake currency and whether the black money, which the BJP claimed was stashed abroad, was brought back.

The Rajasthan chief minister also took a dig at his Delhi counterpart and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, who had said the BJP had offered to spare Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and minister Satyender Jain if his party did not contest the Gujarat polls, saying he should spell out the names of those who had made such an offer to him.


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by The Sen Times staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds.
Source: PTI