Want Old Pension Scheme implementation even if party expels me: Senior M.P. BJP leader

The statement comes at a time when the State has already entered campaign mode and Congress has promised implementation of the OPS

Published - February 19, 2023 03:12 am IST - RAIPUR

Not toeing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s official line on the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), former Madhya Pradesh Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gaurishankar Bisen has demanded its implementation even if it meant his expulsion from the party.

Mr. Bisen, 70, who is an MLA from Balaghat and the chairman of the Other Backward Class Commission of the State, made the statement in support of the OPS on Friday. He was addressing a gathering under the ongoing Vikas Yatra of the government in Balaghat.

“The way a husband needs his wife in old age and wife needs husband, similarly old pension is needed for employees. Take my voice to Delhi, give old pension to lakhs of my comrades.. It doesn’t matter if the party will expel me or takes away the post [of OBC Commission chairman] from me but if you starve, it does matter,” he could be heard saying in a video.

The statement comes at a time when the State has already entered the campaign mode and the Congress has promised the implementation of the OPS in a few other States it rules. The BJP, it is widely understood, is not in favour of the implementation.

It is in this context that Mr. Bisen’s statement assumes significance. While the BJP officially did not comment on the issue, sources within the party and the government were divided on the interpretation of the veteran’s latest take on the OPS. One section claimed that it was business as usual for someone like Mr. Bisen — who had aired divergent views from the party like fellow Lodhi leader Uma Bharti — to make his presence felt ahead of the elections. Such statements, said a source, were pressure tactics to ensure that he or his daughter got the ticket for 2023 polls.

However, another prevailing view was that there was a buzz within the party that if the OPS worked well for the Congress in the Himachal Pradesh elections, it could have political potential in Madhya Pradesh too. Employee unions in the State — who are a major vote bank themselves and also act as opinion leaders by virtue of forming a strong middle class and being those who take government schemes to the past mile — have been demanding the OPS.

“Take my voice to Delhi, give old pension to lakhs of my comrades.. ”Gaurishankar BisenSenior Bharatiya Janata Party leader

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