The State government on Wednesday announced a special ₹10,000 pension for those who went to jail during Emergency. Relief and Rehabilitation minister Chandrakant Patil said ₹5,000 will be paid to those who were behind bars for less than a month, and ₹10,000 per month who were in jail for more than a month.
An additional ₹2,000 would be given to wives of prisoners in the first category and ₹5,000 in the second category. The decision was taken by the cabinet earlier this month and cleared on Wednesday by the three-member ministerial group empowered to take decisions in the absence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “We have set up some guidelines for this disbursements which will be revealed in the due course,” Mr Patil said. The list of beneficiaries will be prepared soon and local collectors will be empowered to distribute the pension.
“A meeting of the appointed sub-committee to decide the strategy for honouring the people fighting for democracy during the Emergency was held today in the office of Revenue, Public Works Department Minister Chandrakant Patil. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat was present in the meeting,” an official from the government said. Meanwhile, the Congress opposed the move saying this was just a “publicity attempt” by the government while it is yet to fulfil its earlier promises of providing homes to freedom fighters. “This is just a political move, what happened to the home promised to the families of the freedom fighters,” asked Congress leader Sachin Sawant.
Former Congress Minister and senior leader R. Vikhe Patil said BJP has no history of its own for fighting the British, by giving pension to those jailed during Emergency it is trying to create a past of its own. “This is nothing but an insult to the freedom fighters because the same level of pension and respect is being accorded to those jailed during the Emergency,” said Mr. Vikhe Patil.