It is natural to get angry when somebody takes away from you what was already given. The issue of abolition of pensions in AP has triggered a row. The reports about the suffering of those who lost pensions are worrying the ruling party. The protest launched by those who lost their pensions has become the biggest weapon for the opposition. With the opposition focusing on Amaravati protests, it should have given some relief to the ruling party. However, analysts say that if TDP stage protest along with those whose pensions were cancelled, it could create troubles for the ruling party.
The pension for beneficiaries was enhanced by the successive government in whatever manner they liked. The amount was increased from a mere Rs.75 to Rs.1,000, then to Rs.2,000 and now to Rs.2,250.
Pensions given to elderly people, handicapped and widows provide them some sustenance. This scheme appears to have become vote bank for the political parties. The parties compete with each other to keep enhancing the pension amount to come to power. This has imposed a huge burden on the exchequer. In the meantime, Jagan government took a bold decision. It started the process of identifying the ineligible persons to remove them from the list of beneficiaries. The move stirred up hornet’s nest.
It is identifying those who are paying huge electricity bills and stopping them the pension. It is also taking the action by identifying those who have more than 70 square yard land and own cars. The official machinery started taking the action after collecting property details of such people through Aadhaar and PAN cards. Successive governments in AP issued white ration cards in an indiscriminate manner. Every welfare scheme was linked with white ration cards. It is being reported that Jagan government has started using village volunteers to eliminate bogus white ration cards. This has triggered fear among those availing the benefits through white cards. Those whose cards were cancelled and those who fear that they will lose the cards are angry with the government. They are saying that if the government does not issue new cards this is okay but if it takes away the existing cards this will not be tolerated. The government has taken note of this. It has decided to conduct a re-survey by volunteers and restore cards of as many people as possible. However, it remains to be seen if this move provides some relief to the ruling party or not.