After BJP’s Paika card, now CM Naveen hikes freedom fighters’ pension

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Friday hiked state pension of incarcerated freedom fighters from existing Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000. Besides, others along with the activists of Goa Liberation Movement will get a monthly pension of Rs 9,000 instead of Rs 5,000. The hike will be implemented with retrospective effect from April 2017, a statement from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said on Friday.

It further said the State’s token share in the pension scheme has been increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 8,000.

Political pundits, however see this move, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month felicitated descendants of 16 freedom fighters who fought in 1817 Paika rebellion in Odisha, as politically motivated.

“When the Centre is giving Rs 19,000 to the freedom fighters as monthly pension, why the State government woke up now to increase it to Rs 10,000? Was he waiting for the PM to honour the martyrs of Paika rebellion?” asked a political analyst on condition of anonymity.

Seeking blessings of descendants of martyrs associated in the armed rebellions, Modi had said dedication and sacrifice made by their ancestors would be recognised when the country would celebrate 75th years of Independence in 2022.

 

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