Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday announced to forgo the pension due to him as a former MLA of the Punjab legislative assembly.
The announcement was made by Badal on the microblogging site Twitter on Thursday, a week after the declaration of the state legislative assembly, in which Badal lost his home turf Lambi.
Five times chief minister Badal remained MLA 10 times in the past – five times from the Gidderbaha constituency and same number of times from Lambi.
During Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) poll campaign, the issue was raked that MLAs of traditional parties, who have been part of the government for many years since Independence, were drawing pension that runs into lakhs of rupees.
Badals became the direct target over the matter despite the fact that a week before the polling, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had clarified that only former MLAs were eligible for the pension and not those who holds the office.
“I request @PunjabGovtIndia & the speaker that whatever pension accrues to me as ex-MLA may please be used for the interest of the people. It should in no case be sent to me. Formal request in writing being sent separately – Parkash S Badal, Former CM,” (SIC) reads the message on Twitter.
Sources in the state legislative assembly revealed that as per lump sum calculations, more than ₹6 lakh per month pension is due to Badal Senior for being 10 times MLA.
“For the first term, an approximate pension of ₹75,100 is given to a former MLA and approximately ₹50,100 for subsequent terms,” revealed an officer. He adds that pension over the age of 80 years up to 90 is increased by 10% and in case the drawer crosses the age of 90 years, an over and above hike of 5% is accrued. Badal, who is 94 years of age, falls in the top bracket as a pension drawer.
An officer in the Vidhan Sabha on request of anonymity revealed that it was not simple to send any former MLAs pension for public benefit, as it entails a proper procedure to apply for the pension and then a calculation will be done to fix the amount, subsequent to which it is sent to a relief fund after a go-ahead by the drawer.
Meanwhile, SAD chief Sukhbir Badal on Thursday held closed-door one-to-one meetings with party candidates who fought the assembly elections. On Wednesday, in another meeting with party’s district unit presidents, he had offered to resign from the post. However, the leaders had reposed faith in him.