Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday made light of party colleague and Lok Sabha MP Varun Gandhi’s routine utterances on various issues, which seem to be against the BJP’s official line, by claiming the latter was “fond of giving personal opinions on a daily basis”.Gandhi had last week asked why elected representatives needed post-retirement benefits when those being selected in the Centre’s Agnipath military recruitment scheme will not be given pension once their four-year tenure gets over.The Pilibhit MP, who has been critical of the scheme since it was unveiled on June 14, had asked in a tweet “can we, the MLAs/MPs, give up our pension to ensure that Agniveers get a pension”.Queried on Gandhi’s statements, Tomar said, “This can be his personal opinion as he is fond of giving personal opinions on a daily basis.” Speaking on the Maharashtra crisis due to the rebellion in the ruling Shiv Sena, Tomar said “BJP has no interference in Maharashtra”.The Union minister of agriculture expressed confidence that the ruling BJP will win the upcoming local body polls in MP due to development works undertaken.
Senior Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Sunday alleged that the BJP-led Assam government was busy serving ‘cocktail-mocktail’ to dissident Maharashtra MLAs camping in a luxury hotel here but was not able to even provide free drinking water to flood-affected people in the state.He claimed that people were having to pay money to receive their rightful relief materials.“The BJP-led government in Assam is serving cocktail-mocktail to the Shiv Sena legislators, but it doesn’t have money to provide even drinking water to the flood-affected people,” he told reporters here.Kumar claimed there were videos of people having to pay Rs 30 to receive water bottles as part of their due relief in some parts of the state.“This is the condition of politics in Assam…when people elect such representatives, this is bound to happen,” the former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress president said.He also took a dig at the Narendra Modi-led central government over the Agnipath scheme, alleging that it will weaken the security mechanism of the country.Kumar questioned various provisions of the scheme, including job opportunities for the Agniveers after they are discharged from duty following four years of service, and lack of pension benefits.“Never has the country been so weak in 70 years that it is unable to pay pension to our jawans,” he said.The Congress leader claimed that ex-servicemen were presently not getting jobs and thousands of youths will be added to this number of unemployed people if the Agnipath scheme is implemented.“This scheme is not for securing our country or recruiting youths, but to save money,” Kumar added.
GUWAHATI: Senior Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Sunday alleged that the BJP-led Assam government was busy serving 'cocktail-mocktail' to dissident Maharashtra MLAs camping in a luxury hotel here but was not able to even provide free drinking water to flood-affected people in the state. He claimed that people were having to pay money to receive their rightful relief materials. "The BJP-led government in Assam is serving cocktail-mocktail to the Shiv Sena legislators, but it doesn't have money to provide even drinking water to the flood-affected people," he told reporters here. Kumar claimed there were videos of people having to pay Rs 30 to receive water bottles as part of their due relief in some parts of the state. "This is the condition of politics in Assam...when people elect such representatives, this is bound to happen," the former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress president said. He also took a dig at the Narendra Modi-led central government over the Agnipath scheme, alleging that it will weaken the security mechanism of the country. Kumar questioned various provisions of the scheme, including job opportunities for the Agniveers after they are discharged from duty following four years of service, and lack of pension benefits. "Never has the country been so weak in 70 years that it is unable to pay pension to our jawans," he said. The Congress leader claimed that ex-servicemen were presently not getting jobs and thousands of youths will be added to this number of unemployed people if the Agnipath scheme is implemented. "This scheme is not for securing our country or recruiting youths, but to save money," Kumar added.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who fell foul of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra and was eventually suspended and had cases registered against him, has challenged his suspension two weeks ahead of his retirement.From the Maharashtra cadre, current Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey and Singh will retire on June 30. Sources said Singh wanted to ensure that he did not retire with the tag of a suspended officer. The move could also make him eligible to claim pension.A source said, “Two weeks ago, Param Bir Singh challenged his suspension before the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).While generally IPS officers approach the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for grievances related to service, when an officer is suspended for over three months, the MHA is the relevant authority to raise the grievance.”The source said a decision on whether the suspension is to be revoked will be taken within the next few days. If the MHA finds merit in his argument, his suspension could be revoked and he could retire as an on-dutyofficer.Sources said the former city police chief, who fell out with the government post the Antilia terror scare case in which ten policemen, including dismissed officer Sachin Waze, were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), did not want his retirment to be processedwhile he was under suspension and hence, he approached the MHA. A government official confirmed that the Maharashtra government had also received an intimation of the same nearly two weeks ago.An official said if the suspension is revoked, Singh may also be eligible for a pension payout provided his departmental inquiries have been cleared.Soon after the Antilia bomb scare case, the MVA government had shunted out Singh as commissioner in March 2021.Later he wrote a letter making allegations of corruption against then state home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh which led to the latter’s resignation and eventual arrest.Later, a total of five FIRs were registered against Singh in connection with extortion charges. While a chargesheet was filed by the Mumbai Police in one of the cases, all the cases, including two enquiries being conducted against him by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), were eventually handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court. The CBI is currently investigating the case.Apart from this, the NIA had also recorded the statement of Singh in connection with the Antilia case as well.
Calling the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces a "cruel joke" on the jobless youth in the country, the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra on Friday demanded its rollback. The two parties are constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state along with Shiv Sena. Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said the Union government was "pushing the youth into the darkness of unemployment" after they complete four years of service in the defence forces, as the scheme contemplates. The scheme is a "cruel joke on the youth" as it does not offer any security after four years of service, he said, adding that it should be withdrawn. "There should be no compromise on national security and sovereignty. Our soldiers are more important than a political party," Patole added. The Nationalist Congress Party alleged that the scheme was only meant to "tease" the unemployed youth, and the BJP was not serious about finding a long-term solution to the issue of unemployment. "Under the BJP rule, the country is witnessing the highest unemployment ratio. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised two crore jobs during the 2014 elections. His government unfortunately made no concrete efforts in the past eight years to generate sizeable employment," said NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase in a statement. The Aagnipath scheme lacks direction and fails to safeguard long-term service prospects of the youth, he said. Modi had promised 'One Rank-One Pension' to defence personnel, but the new scheme has "no rank and no pension" and does not even offer gratuity or provident fund, Tapase noted. There is no roadmap for the future of those who would leave the armed forces after four years, he added. "How and where will the youth learn new skills post retirement," the NCP leader asked. The prime minister should bring out a revised scheme which will give long-term, stable and permanent jobs to the unemployed youth, Tapase said.
Kannada organisations took strong exception to pro-Maharashtra slogans raised by a Belagavi Mahanagara Palike employee at his farewell function at the Palike auditorium on Wednesday.Shivaji Kalasekar, who'd retired as second division clerk after serving for 33 years, soon made amends and submitted a written apology in Kannada to the Palike commissioner.Kalasekar had raised Jai Maharashtra slogan at a farewell event, attended by Palike Commissioner Rudresh Gali, Health Officer Dr Sanjay Dummagol and other officials, held at Palike premises on May 31. He soon realised his mistake and apologised for his spur of the moment sloganeering."It was unintentional and a slip of the tongue. It should not have happened," Kalasekar said.Condemning the pro-Maharashtra slogan by the Kalasekar, Kannada organisations have demanded the government to not release Palike staffer's pension.
MUMBAI: “When there is a fight between lion and the lamb, the lamb has to be protected,” said the Bombay high court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik on Thursday to counsel for employees while concluding the hearing of a petition filed by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) against its striking employees. The HC also extended the deadline for all employees to rejoin work without any fear of administrative action to April 22, from the earlier date of April 15. Citing legal provisions as an impediment, senior counsel Aspi Chinoy for the MSRTC said it would be difficult to withdraw action initiated against staffers who had resorted to violence. The HC, however, said, “We will reinstate all at the same time. We will substitute it with our order.” Chinoy said it cannot be considered as a precedent then, and the HC agreed saying it was a special situation. “We are extending the date. We will allow them to rejoin but with a warning that their actions cannot be repeated, and then you (MSRTC) would be free to take action.” “Let us apply our mind and pass an order,” said the bench to employees’ advocate Gunratan Sadavarte, who raised concerns about more suicides by staff and said two such incidents last month had taken the number to 124. The HC said it was also keen to ensure there are no further deaths and all employees are employed. When asked by the court about whether employees get pension, Chinoy and counsel Shailesh Naidu said they get provided fund and gratuity benefits. To this, another counsel for a staff union said, “They don’t have pensionary benefit. Only PF and gratuity, just like in private company”. On Tuesday, the state submitted that it had accepted all the recommendations made by a court-appointed panel which said it was not feasible to accept the demand of MSRTC employees to merge their employment with that of state employees who get pension. The HC said staffers’ Union or employees were free to separately challenge it by filing appropriate petition.
Kolhapur: Functioning of the Out Patient Department (OPD) and surgical ward at the Chhatrapati Pramila Raje (CPR) hospital was affected on Monday as doctors have resorted to an indefinite strike in order to get their demands addressed.The Maharashtra State Medical Teachers Association (MSMTA) has been protesting for the last two weeks and now to support the association, the doctors from CPR have also joined the protest.Dr Aparajit Walavalkar, one of the protesters, said, “The protest got good response as most of the doctors participated in the strike today (Monday). Due to the strike, trainee doctors were asked to check OPD patients. All the surgeries have also got postponed and medical officers handled only the accident and trauma department. Sample collection also stood at minimum as samples of only those admitted to the hospital were collected. The hospital administration made alternate arrangement by making resident and senior resident doctors take charge.”He added, “Our demands include compensation as per seventh pay commission, applying older pension scheme once again, inclusion of non-resident doctors as resident doctors and tenure fixed promotions.”Meanwhile Dr. Girish Kamble, medical superintendent at CPR Hospital, said, “Only the OPD section was kept closed, while the other sections worked fine. Our resident doctors, senior doctors and medical officers did not let the work get hampered.”
MUMBAI: Maharashtra’s revenue collection has been badly hit by the Covid pandemic, the state government informed the legislative assembly on Thursday. To offset the additional expenditure, the available resources are insufficient and it will have to implement several austerity measures and resort to loans. “This will inevitably increase the interest burden on the state,” stated the note tabled in the assembly, while presenting the supplementary demands. Amidst sloganeering by Opposition, supplementary demands for Rs 6,250 crore were presented, of which Rs 3,190 crore was for industry, energy and labour department, Rs 2,936 for urban development department, Rs 1,500 crore for finance department, and Rs 1,500 crore for pension and wages. With the current supplementary demands, the finance department said, state’s revenue deficit will increase from Rs 38,961 crore in December 2021 to Rs 43,977 crore, which would be 1.5% of the state gross domestic product. Fiscal deficit, which was Rs 1.1 crore till December, will rise to Rs 1.16 crore. Netas: Stop power supply cut driveStop the drive to disconnect power supply to domestic and agricultural users over non-payment of dues as it’s causing outrage against the government and the Opposition is encashing on public sentiment, ministers said in the state cabinet. “With local body polls nearing, many ministers raised the issue and the chief minister said he will take a decision soon,” a minister said.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that a second wife is not entitled to receive her deceased husband's pension in cases where the second marriage had taken place without legal dissolution of the first one.A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav dismissed a petition filed by Solapur resident Shamal Tate, challenging the state government's decision denying her pension benefits.As per the High Court order, Tate's husband Mahadeo, a peon in the office of the Solapur district collector, died in 1996. Mahadeo was already married to another woman when he married the petitioner. After his death, Tate and Mahadeo's first wife came to an agreement that the former would receive almost 90 per cent of the deceased's retirement benefits, while the latter would get the monthly pension.Also Read | Child should not be made to suffer due to husband-wife dispute: SCHowever, after Mahadeo's first wife died of cancer, Tate wrote to the state government seeking that she be given Mahadeo's pension dues henceforth. After much deliberation, the state government rejected the four applications made by Tate between 2007 and 2014.Tate then approached the High Court in 2019 claiming that since she was the mother of Mahadeo's three children, and the society knew them as husband and wife, she was eligible to receive the pension, especially since the first wife, who had been receiving the pension, was now dead.The court, however, held that several Supreme Court judgements had established that a second marriage must be held as void under the Hindu Marriage Act if it has been solemnised without legally ending the first marriage.The bench observed that the state government had been correct in holding that only a legally wedded wife was entitled to family pension. The court also said that Tate had not approached it with "clean hands", since as per the agreement between her and Mahadeo's first wife, she had explicitly relinquished her rights to the monthly pension."The marriage of the petitioner (Tate) to the deceased is void as the same took place while the first wife of the deceased was alive, and while the first marriage was subsisting," the bench said. "In view of the findings, this writ petition stands dismissed," it said.Check out latest DH videos here
Aurangabad: Stating that over 2.5 lakh government posts were lying vacant in the state, the Maharashtra Gazetted Officers Federation — apex body of bureaucrats — has demanded recruitment to fill the alleged vacuum.Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, forum founder and chief adviser G D Kulthe said large number of vacant posts was creating additional work pressure on the existing government workforce.“We also demand that the government must not fill the posts on contract basis. Such a makeshift arrangement made in the past is detrimental to the system, including candidates who get appointed on contract-basis as they get lower remuneration,” he said.Among other demands, the forum has also pressed for old pension scheme for government employees who have joined the services after year 2005. “We are also putting up a sustained fight for implementation of the old pension scheme,” Kulthe said. TNN
NEW DELHI: Mizoram gives a mere Rs 100 every month under the state disability pension scheme to the 200 beneficiaries registered with it, the Rajya Sabha was informed by the government on Wednesday. Things are no better in the bigger and populous states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh where the pension amount is a meagre Rs 300. The number of beneficiaries is over 12.12 lakh in Maharashtra and over 4.79 lakh in MP. Nagaland too gives its 4,872 beneficiaries only Rs 300. In states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Meghalaya the state pension amount is a low Rs 200. A large state like West Bengal gives beneficiaries Rs 700 to the 66,491 beneficiaries and Uttar Pradesh provides Rs 1,000 (11.17 lakh beneficiaries). It is Telangana with over 5.69 lakh beneficiaries which doles out the highest pension amount of Rs 3,016, followed by Andhra Pradesh (6.59 lakh beneficiaries) that provides Rs 3,000. In the Union territory of Puducherry (20,952 beneficiaries), the pension ranges from Rs 2,000 to a maximum of Rs 3,800. This data was shared by the ministry of rural development in Rajya Sabha in response to a question on beneficiaries supported through state pension schemes and the amount they receive each month. The states giving a monthly pension of Rs 2,000 and more include Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. While this data pertains to only state pensions, the monthly pension given under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme to beneficiaries across the country too remains very low at a mere Rs 300. This amount in addition to the state government’s aid for beneficiaries who are eligible for both the central and state grant still fails to fulfill the needs disabled where the state pensions are also very low. Reacting to the state pension data, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) general secretary Muralidharan said, “The numbers shows the apathy towards the disabled and also underlines the fact that wherever movements and advocacy has been stronger the incumbent governments have been forced to enhance pensions.” He added that the central assistance through pension has been static for over a decade now and the Rs 300 needs urgent revision.
MUMBAI: Five men have been arrested by the North Region cyber police for cheating a suburban resident of Rs 19.27 lakh in an insurance scam. Three of the accused are ex-employees of private insurance companies, police said. The fraud took place between June 2020 and March 2021. The complainant would receive phone calls from different men and women, claiming to be executives of two private insurance companies. They offered him higher returns if he bought an insurance policy from them. Subsequently, One gang member posing as an Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) official also conned him into parting with Rs 19 lakh for an interest-free loan and pension up to Rs 94 lakh. On realising that he had been defrauded, the complainant approached the cops. While tracking the call records of the âIRDA officerâ, police figured that the number had forged KYC records. A sales executive of a phone service provider was found to be involved. He was picked up from Ghaziabad in UP. On further investigation, police found that he had links with a SIM card seller. It turned out that the accused used genuine documents belonging to customers, approaching the SIM card seller's shop for activating SIM cards in their names. These SIMs were used to defraud people via insurance scams.