Irked at the non-fulfilment of their demands related to the removal of pay anomalies and the restoration of the old pension scheme — discontinued since 2005 — the Uttar Pradesh Employees’ Joint Federation has threatened to use the NOTA (none of the above) option in the Lok Sabha election. Although the federation, an umbrella organisation of about 16 lakh State employees, has been agitating for long, it has failed to get any assurance from the Centre or the State government.

The president of the federation, Hari Kishore Tewari, said on Thursday that the employees had been compelled to take the decision to exercise the NOTA option. The federation was in touch with other organisations and would appeal to retired State employees’ organisations and associations also to exercise the option.

Pension scheme

Outlining the details of the protest, Mr. Tewari and the general secretary of the federation, Shivbaran Singh Yadav, told journalists that for one year they had been agitating for the restoration of the old pension scheme. Opinion of MPs from the State had also been sought. “40 MPs had given in writing that the pension scheme should not be discontinued,” Mr. Yadav said.

Following a demonstration at Jantar Mantar on July 13 last year, a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister was submitted by the employees’ federation, he said.

Condemning what they called “double standards,” the federation office-bearers said people’s representatives were entitled to pension even if they attended the House for a day, but State employees had been deprived of pension benefits. Mr. Tewari flayed the new contributory pension scheme and alleged that it was being thrust upon employees.