RJD Chief Lalu Prasad has applied for JP Senani Samman pension. Although the Bihar government had in 2009 decided that known and famous participants of JP movement would get pension benefits without applying, the RJD chief had not been getting it. The pension scheme is being availed by about 2,500 people. The government had received 3200 applications.
The Bihar Home Department confirmed to have received an application from the RJD chief, who had been in jail for more than six months during the movement. The pension scheme has two categories — those who had been in jail for more than one month are entitled to Rs 5,000 per month and those jailed for more than six months get Rs 10,000 per month. Lalu Prasad would get Rs 10,000 per month with arrears since introduction of the scheme in 2009.
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Lalu Prasad aide and RJD MLA Bhola Yadav too confirmed that the RJD chief had applied for the pension.
Lalu Prasad, then Patna University Students’ Union leader, had participated in a protest called by Bihar Pradesh Sangharsh Sanchalan Samiti on March 18, 1974. The students’ movement was later led by Jai Prakash Narayan. Lalu Prasad, who had been evading arrest for a year, hiding at several addresses in Patna and Gopalganj, including at his in-laws’ place in Selar Kalan, was finally arrested in 1975 under Maintenance of Internal Security Act, and was lodged at a makeshift jail at Patna Medical College and Hospital and later at Buxar jail.
An RJD leader said: “It was not about money but about prestige attached to the pension scheme. It is about Laluji’s proud association with the movement that shaped his political career”.