Special Correspondent

Releases copy of letter Sonia wrote to Manmohan seeking raise

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Thursday claimed credit for the increase in the pension for freedom fighters, stating that party president Sonia Gandhi wrote a personal letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

The Congress had decided to celebrate and commemorate the centenary of the satyagraha, and, as part of the celebrations, Ms. Gandhi wrote to Dr. Singh on October 23 to enhance the pension and release a commemorative postal stamp.

"On the request of the Congress president, the Government has decided to raise the pension of freedom fighters. The Congress party thanks the Prime Minister for this gesture," party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said in a release.

He said former political prisoners of the Andamans would get a monthly pension of Rs. 11,581 against Rs. 7,500. Those who suffered outside British India would get Rs. 10,790 a month against Rs. 6,450 given earlier and other freedom fighters, including those of the Indian National Army would get Rs. 10,000 a month against Rs. 6,000 a month.