Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quantum jump for MsP: No accountability to the citizens they serve?

The government on Saturday assured agitating MPs that their concerns on salary hike would be addressed, NDA convenor Sharad Yadav said in the Lok Sabha, a day after several opposition parties conducted a 'mock' Parliament.

Yadav made the statement during Zero Hour, shortly after he along with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, BJP deputy leader Gopinath Munde and BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan met Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee.

"The matter regarding the hike of salary of MPs has been resolved," Yadav said, apprising the House of the meeting. "The House will now function as per rules," he said.
Matter over salary hike resolved: Sharad Yadav tells LS

Dear Veterans,
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To night's 'Times Now' debate anchored by Arnab Goswami, covered the hot topic of MPs salary hike. For a change, all the participants were given adequate time to express themselves. It was heartening to see that both Gen Shankar Prasad & Capt Siddhu put across their points forcefully.

The crux of the problem, as Arnab put it, is not the Salary hike to the MsP, but the deprivation of the soldiers who are guarding the Nation day in and day out. They are the first one to be called in any calamity, the latest one being the Common Wealth Games. He, and the other two Veterans explained, as to how the Parliamentarians or the Law Makers, got together, cutting across the party lines, to forge an unity amongst themselves, to force the Cabinet to hike their salaries to a whopping 300 per cent, in just four days. Whereas, it has taken 10 years for the Armed Forces personnel to get a hike of just 38 percent.

When the OROP issue was considered, the Govt said that was not viable. This theory of viability is going to be further tested by the Law Makers with their demand of 500% hike. One wonders as to what Sekhar Gutpta has to say now, since he was the one to dub our Chiefs as Trade Unionists, when they refused to implement the Sixth Pay Commission Recmmendations.

Shankar Prasad pointed out that the Govt is planning to induct the Army to salvage the Games, free of cost. The Urban Minister, Jaipal Reddy, has indicated that even an allownce of 20,000/ - per month for the Officers & Rs 10,000/- per month for the other ranks may not be possible. Arnab pointed out that this amount is just a fraction of the 15 additional free air flights, now sanctioned to the MsP.

Capt Siddhu, was blunt in stating to Manu Singhvi, that it was his Govt which went for a review of the disability case which was settled by the Supreme court (Veterans will remember the 'Beggars' comment by the Court). Even after the Govt failed in its last atttempt to block the case, it never paid him, till he filed a Contempt of the Court pettition. In all it had taken him 30 years. But Manu Singhvi & other MsP could get all within four days.

Manu Singhvi conceded that he was not aware of all these cases & the OROP. But, Shankar Prasad pointed out that the entire Nation is aware of the OROP & the depositing of medals by the Veterans to the President, in protest. How a big wig from the Ruling Party can feign ignorence. Manu Singhvi, at least on the screen, assured that he is prepared to take up the cases of the Veterans in the Supreme Court against the Review Pettitions filed by the Govt.

"Sir, will you stick to your Words?" I request the Leaders of IESM to send a procession to his house or office to sanctify his promise.

I am deliberately omitting the presence of Rahul Bajaj in the show, since he did not have much to say but to support the cause of the MsP salary hike. But, he mentioned that the present salary of the MP, which is 16,000, is what he is paying his chauffer. So, in our country the lives of Soldiers are cheaper than the Chauffers. The minimum that the old Industrialist & ex MP could have done is to draw the attention of the Govt to this great disparity. But if he does that, he will be deprived of the use of his Private air craft, by the DGCA.

Arnab's pro Armed Forces stand was supported by facts & figures. He rightly pointed out to Singhvi & Bajaj, that the comparisson of the MsP to the salaries of the Army personnel is inescapble, since the IAS, IPS & the rest do the same. The MsP are demanding 500% hike only to overtake the Cabinet Secretary in the Salary structure.

I did not know Siddhu has sense of humour. He emphatically supported Singhvi & Bajaj & demanded that the salary of the MsP should be hiked to 700%, because of the unruly behaviour & shouting they indulge in the House, which may add to their expenditures.
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Veteran Raman
Col (Retd) TN Raman

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