An NGO had filed a petition in the Supreme Court for denying pension to politicians. After this, many persons started online campaign for it. They appealed to everyone to share and support this cause.
Mahila Pradesh Congress General Secretary Manisha Rote said, “Salaries of MPs and MLAs have been revised. Poverty is increasing in the country and people are dying due to hunger. At the same time, politicians have other source of income. You can’t find a leader who is surviving on salaries and pension. Once a person becomes a politician he starts owning property worth crores of rupees. Instead of giving pension and other perks it would be better to support poor people.”
In the petition the NGO had stated that MPs should not get pension because politics is not a job or employment, but a free service. Politics is an election under the Public Representation Act, there is no retirement, but they can be re-elected in the same situation again. (Currently they get pension, after 5 years of service). Another loophole is that if a person has been a councilor first, then becomes a legislator and later becomes an MP, then he gets not one but three pensions. This is a great betrayal with the citizens of the country as they immediately have to act to stop it. It also stated that with the Central Pay Commission, salary allowance of MPs are being revised which should be brought under the income tax.
NCP leader and advocate Majeed Memon said, “Let people file petition and court will hear the matter. Those who have served the country and society for a fairly long time why they should not be considered equal to those who have done public service? Why they should not be on par with the benefit of pension post retirement? I don’t find any substance in this argument that they should not be entitled to it.”
At present, MPs increase their salaries and allowances arbitrarily by voting for themselves and at that time all the parties forget their differences and become united. The NGO was in favour of discarding healthcare system for MPs. Politicians often tend to go overseas for treatment. If they go abroad for treatment then they must bear the expenses from their pocket. It wanted MPs and MLAs to discard their current health care system and participate in health care system similar to Indian public health.
Justice BG Kolse-Patil, former judge of Bombay High Court said, “It is a double edged sword. Honest politicians face immense difficulties after retiring from politics. They had to rely on pension for supporting themselves. All facilities were meant for honest politicians. However, times have changed and today it is difficult to find an honest politician.”
NGO also called for the abolition of various concessions offered to MPs and MLAs in electricity, water and phone bill. MPs not only get several concessions but they also increase them regularly. It wanted criminals to be prevented from contesting election, suspicious persons with punitive records, criminal charges and determination, past or present to be banned from entering the Parliament.
According to the NGO, the financial losses caused by politicians while remaining in the office should be recovered from them, their nominees and properties. It wanted MPs to follow the same rules applicable to common citizens. No deduction on LPG gas subsidy by the citizens unless the subsidies available to MPs and MLAs, and other subsidies, including subsidised food in the Parliament canteen, are not withdrawn. It also called for the withdrawal of free rail and air travel. It asks why should the common man bear the cost of subsidies availed by MPs and MLAs. According to it, serving in the Parliament is an honour, not a lucrative career for looting.