Udaipur : Aggrieved over the state government’s policy on non grant of pension to retired staff of agriculture universities across Rajasthan, pensioners of Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT) has unanimously decided not to vote for BJP candidates in the upcoming polls. These pensioners have put up notices on their walls and gates asking the BJP candidates not to contact them for votes while door-to-door canvassing.
These notices are gaining wide attention by the people while candidates from other parties are approaching these pensioners and assuring them all support. ” During the last monthly meeting of our pensioners welfare society, our members unanimously agreed not to vote for the BJP. Some 125 homes have already pasted notices while we are reaching out to our counterparts in other stations too” retired Prof VB Singh told Udaipur Kiran.
“Some 3000 retired people including teaching and non teaching staff of MPUAT are effected by the BJP government’s stubbornness as our pension was stopped when chief minister Vasundhara Raje came to power in 2013. Even during the Congress reign, the pension was once stopped for some months but later it was restarted after a patient reconsideration” retired professor and soil scientist PC Kanthalia told Udaipur Kiran. ” The government’s logic is that agriculture universities are autonomous bodies and they should generate their own income for pension fund but the fact is that agriculture universities are more than just educational institutions. We are more into research and development works and we pass on free technology to the farmers.
Our universities do not have much funds because we have few number of students too.” says HarNarayan Gaur, another pensioner. While the traditional Mohanlal Sukhadia University has a student strength of 2,5 lakh, MPUAT has only 3000 students while there are 500 pupils in Bikaner, 200 in Jobner and equivalent numbers at Kota and Jodhpur.
” Persons who retired from teaching posts as professors etc have no major financial problems as such but the lower grade people including peons, drivers and clerical staff are really facing hardships in their old age. Few are forced to take up meager jobs even now as their children too are not well qualified or have a secured job” Dr Ajay Kumar Srivastava, another pensioner informed. According to sources, besides MPUAT, pensioners of agriculture universities at Jobner, Bikaner, Kota and Jodhpur too are facing similar problems.