Yogi Adityanath govt may announce pension for sadhus ahead of 2019 polls

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: January 22, 2019

According to sources, the Adityanath cabinet would meet in Prayagraj (Allahabad) either on January 28 or 29 and put its seal of approval on the proposal, which is likely to benefit almost a million sadhus in the state.

 

Pension for Sadhus

Image Courtesy: ANI
 
Lucknow: Ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Yogi Adityanath government has announced to provide pension to all the destitute people in Uttar Pradesh.
 
This would also include homeless and nomadic saints and sadhus, who have no permanent place to live and are generally on the move.
 
According to sources, the Adityanath cabinet would meet in Prayagraj (Allahabad) either on January 28 or 29 and put its seal of approval on the proposal, which is likely to benefit almost a million sadhus in the state.
 
The state government would hold special camps across the state till January 30 to enrol the beneficiaries under the ambitious scheme, which is expected to further the ‘hindutva’ agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state against the spectre of arch-rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) joining hands to take on the saffron outfit.
 
BJP Spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told News18, “Till now there were sadhus and saints who did not have any family or anyone to look after them. So the government is considering to enrol them into an old age pension scheme. The amount will be transferred directly into their bank accounts. Soon there will be camps in different districts all over the state to enrol the elderly seers and saints for the old age pension scheme.”
 
The stipend under the scheme will be raised from Rs 400 to Rs 500 per month, reported The Times of India.
 
Samajwadi Party Chief and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at the government’s proposal and said, “The government must give a monthly pension of Rs 20,000 to seers, and re-introduce the Samajwadi pension scheme and an honorarium of Rs 50,000 to those awarded the Yash Bharti under the SP regime.”
 
“The government should also announce pension for those who recite Ramayan in villages and artists who portray the role of Lord Ram, Bharat and Sita. And if they still have funds, a portion could be given to those who portray Ravana too,” Akhilesh Yadav had said.
 
At present 37 lakh, elderly people are beneficiaries of the old age pension scheme. Those above 60 years are given Rs 400 and beneficiaries above 80 years are given Rs 600 a month. The money is transferred directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
 
Earlier, the UP government decided to hold a cabinet meeting at the ongoing Ardh Kumbh in Prayagraj. This is the first time in 56 years that UP government will be held outside Lucknow.
 
“Currently, Kumbh 2019 is going on in Prayagraj and it would continue till March 4. During the 45 odd days of the mega congregation of faith, almost 150 million pilgrims and tourists are expected to arrive in the tent city put up especially for the purpose. The Kumbh 2019 has a budget of almost Rs 4,500 crore compared to merely Rs 1,200 crore during the previous Kumbh congregation in 2013. The CM said millions of sadhus were coming to the Kumbh Mela for the religious rites and bathing in the holy Ganga,” the Business Standard report.
 
Thus far, destitute saints and seers were not considered for any state government-sponsored pension scheme, since they had no residential proofs, while they were also not too keen to apply and avail of the benefits, the report said.