Several NGOs staged a demonstration here on Saturday to protest against the unanimous passing of a Bill by the state Assembly, hiking the monthly salary of MLAs.
The NGOs led by Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) demonstrated at Lal Darwaza area here. Another NGO — Citizens Resource and Action Initiative (CRANTI) — submitted a memorandum to Governor O P Kohli, requesting him not to sign the Bill. CRANTI’s Bharatsinh Zala said, “It is very sad that Congress did not oppose the Bill. It was an opportunity for the Congress to raise its voice, be a mature Opposition. But Congress MLAs allowed themselves to be sold for a mere Rs 1.16 lakh a month.”
Zala said that the state BJP government, which is hiring people on contractual basis in education, police and other departments at fixed monthly salaries between Rs 5,000 and Rs 9,000, has all of a sudden raised the salaries of the legislators. “The government is not paying compensation to the families of farmers who committed suicide due to crop failure or because of debt. But it has the money to hike [the] salaries of MLAs. Strange indeed,” said Zala.
Advocate Amrish Patel of JSM said there should be a uniform policy to lift the economic status of people. “If the salaries of MLAs needed to be increased to meet their requirements, why is the government not hiring employees at regular pay scales by abolishing contract employment?” he asked.