Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday extended its support to the indefinite strike by Karnataka state government NPS employees demanding re-introduction of the old pension scheme (OPS).
State AAP vice-president Bhaskar Rao, who accompanied party leaders to Freedom Park, announced that if AAP comes to power in the state, NPS will be scrapped soon and OPS will be implemented.
Speaking at the protest, Bhaskar Rao said, “During the Punjab elections, the Aam Aadmi Party had promised to implement OPS if it comes to power. Accordingly, the cabinet there approved the implementation of OPS in November and the government issued a gazette notification.
“In Gujarat too, the AAP had given a guarantee on the implementing OPS but the party did not come to power there. If we come to power in Karnataka, we are committed to implementing OPS.
We will clearly mention this in the election manifesto and the guarantee card that will be issued to the people. AAP is always committed to protecting the interest of government employees.” he said.
AAP leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer Brijesh Kalappa said, “For BJP governments at the Centre and in the state, only capitalist businessmen are important. The needs of the common man, including employees, labourers, farmers, small businessmen, do not matter to the BJP government.
People from different walks of life have been protesting for so long and now government employees have come out on the streets. If BJP leaders have even slightest concern for government employees, let them abolish NPS and implement OPS at the earliest,” he demanded.
Aam Aadmi Party’s labour wing state president Ravi Shankar said, “The employees who joined the government service after 2006 are feeling insecure because of NPS. They are worried about life after retirement.
Abolishing NPS and implementing OPS will not put much financial burden on the government. The NPS trust’s contribution is more than Rs 16,000 crore and if OPS is implemented, the contribution will be avoided. When the NPS is scrapped, the money that is received along with interest can be used for development works of the government,” he said.