Andhra Pradesh

Govt reducing number of pensioners: Lokesh

VIJAYAWADA: TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh has accused Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy of reducing the number of social security pensioners in violation of his padayatra promise. After promising to give pensions to 65 lakh people in the State, the Jagan government has started cutting down the number of even existing pensioners by giving lame excuses, Lokesh alleged.

In a statement issued on Monday, the TDP leader demanded that the Chief Minister explain to the aged people why he did not fulfil his promise of increasing the pension amount to `2,750 on completion of two years of his rule.

A 70-year-old pensioner became upset when the local volunteer told him about the stoppage of his pension. Gurraiah fell ill and eventually died within a few days at Pulukunta village in Galiveedu mandal of Kadapa district. The village sarpanch said Gurraiah solely depended on his pension for his livelihood, he said.

Lokesh also explained how cancellation of pension caused the death of one Khillo Somanna at Tamarapalli village in Chintapalli mandal of Visakhapatnam. Somanna’s only mistake was that he did not undertake eKYC verification.

As he did not get his monthly pension, Khillo Somanna allegedly went into a depression and eventually collapsed. At Pudicherla village, Syed Shah Ali Bhasha died due to heart attack after his pension was cancelled. He got the pension till August. The officials told him that his age was under-reported in his Aadhaar card, he added.