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After AAP govt, centre mulls 100 per cent pay hike for MPs

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New Delhi: Even as disruptions shadowed the winter session of parliament, lawmakers are looking ahead with a 100 per cent salary hike which may come in the next budget, government sources said on Thursday.

A joint committee of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha has prepared a report recommending the salary of parliamentarians be hiked from the present Rs.50,000 to Rs.1 lakh, constituency allowance from Rs.45,000 to Rs.90,000 and secretarial assistance plus office allowance from Rs.45,000 to Rs.90,000.

This comes as the winter session saw the Rajya Sabha work for only 46 percent of its time while the Lok Sabha managed to reach the 100 per cent mark.

The panel, headed by BJP Lok Sabha member Yogi Adityanath, also recommended around 75 per cent raise in pensions and an automatic mechanism for the salary hike for parliamentarians.

Highly-placed government sources told IANS that the proposal was under consideration of the finance ministry, but any changes will only come when the next budget is tabled.

“The finance ministry is considering the recommendations, but the hike will come only with the budget,” a union minister said.

The report has not been tabled in parliament.

A think tank member, who was one of the witnesses in a similar committee, said it was not necessary that the report will be made public.

The issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session by Samajwadi Party member Naresh Agrawal who said the salary of parliamentarians must be Re.1 more than that of the cabinet secretary.

The 7th Pay Commission recommended Rs.2.5 lakh salary for a cabinet secretary-rank officer.

The joint panel, meanwhile, has also suggested that the health benefits the lawmakers avail of via the central government health scheme should be extended to their children and grandchildren as well.

Informed sources said some parliamentarians submitted to the panel that while they were given a first class ticket to travel by train, their companions, even if it is the spouse, can travel only second class. The panel has advocated first class ticket for companions.

The panel has also suggested first class train ticket for ex-MPs and spouses.

The recommendations of any parliamentary panel are, however, not mandatory for the government.(IANS)

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An insight into the biggest political parties of India

The next state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi to prove his mettle as a leader

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The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons
The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Indian being a political democratic country, houses a lot of political parties. Since independence, many new parties have emerged to take up the fight for various sections of the society. One of the examples of such a party is AAP (Aam Admi Party). AAP came up with strong political ethics to root out issues faced by a commons man but now the very existence of this party is in question due to poor performance and incompetence of some of its top leaders. But the most prominent of all of the political parties in India are BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) and the Indian National Congress.

BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons
BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, BJP surfaced from a former party known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. BJP’s agenda during the 1980s focused on the ‘Ram Janambhoomi movement’. The party encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. This issue gave the Hindu colour denomination to BJP and in 1996; it emerged as the largest party in the parliament. After being kept away from the power for long, Narendra Modi led the BJP to unprecedented heights in the last elections and the competition was put up by him was unmatchable.

On the other hand, Congress is a more matured political party of India. It got established in the year 1885. After the independence, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Nehru was the front face of the political governance in India but after his assassination, his daughter Indira Gandhi took the charge and became the prime minister in 1966. Unfortunately, Indira Gandhi also got assassinated and her son, Rajiv Gandhi took up the reigns of the party. In the sequence of assassination, Rajiv Gandhi was the next target. Sonia Gandhi came to power in 1998 and she led the party from the front in 2004 elections. This resulted in the political rule of Congress under Manmohan Singh.

After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons
After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons

The recent Assembly election of Gujarat was a real eye-opener for many, as the people’s right to vote was seen quite considerably y exercised. The Congress resistance in the very own fortress of Narendra Modi was a heavy blow to the Modi wave that swept the country. Although, BJP had the last laugh in the election results but the close fight Syama Prasad Mookerjee from the Congress side was appreciable. The new trend seems to be rebalancing the political scenario in India. The tussle between the BJP and Congress will definitely go down in the history of Indian politics.

Nowadays, Twitter is another playground for political parties. The rule of social media platforms has pushed Indian leaders to communicate in the same manner. It’s vividly seen that people take up to twitter to express their views and differences. Rahul Gandhi vetted his displeasure over the performance of BJP in the latest series of attacks by Rahul against Prime Minister Modi.

Last month only, Rahul Gandhi was crowned as the party head. Therefore, the state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul to prove his mettle as a leader. It will be interesting to see the new strategies that will be deployed by Congress to take an edge over their arch rivals, BJP.