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Telangana MLAs face pensioners’ wrath

Hyderabad,Dec 23 (TruthDive): Telangana MLAs are facing the heat over the pension scheme. It is making them difficult to even visit their constituencies as people are coming in large numbers with complaints.

To add to this, Telangana Rashtra Samithi workers claiming to be agents of the MLAs are collecting money from applicants. These agents promise to include them in the list and the package includes from writing the application to getting it approved.

Telangana renamed a pension scheme in existence as ‘Aasara’. Earlier, governments were giving Rs 200 to old and disabled. Telangana as part of the poll promise of TRS, decided to increase the amount to Rs 1000. As the amount increased, the budget layout for this came to Rs 4000 crore annually.

Telangana government invited fresh applications for this enhanced pensions. Close to four lakh applications came in, which included the existing ones. After verification of applications, only half of the applicants were found eligible. Those who were rejected have now taken to the streets.

Many of them were rejected as they could not produce proof of age. Many who were receiving pensions too were found to be below the age limit of 65. District municipal offices have now opened special counters to handle the irate applicants.

Telangana Congress is on a mission to collect details of people who were already receiving pension and now deleted from the list. This list will be ready by January 5. The MLAs say that the case of those who were receiving pension and now struck off the list will hit them badly in terms of votes. Aasara could politically be bad for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLAs.

Municipal authorities have been told to be liberal in approving the applications. TRS men are said to be delaying approvals of worthy applicants and demanding Rs 3000 for sanctioning and Rs 1000 for filling out an application. MLAs are facing the flak with a combination fund crunch and TRS men acting as touts.

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