The AAP’s broom made a clean sweep at the 2022 Punjab Assembly Election, paving way for Bhagwat Mann to succeed Congress’s Channi as the Chief Minister of the border state. Mann took oath as Punjab CM on March 16. Following this, an alleged ‘big decision’ by the AAP government in Punjab is going viral. A graphic with Hindi text claiming that ‘Pension of former Ministers and MLAs of Punjab halted’ is doing the rounds on social media. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.
Last week, the members of New Patiala Welfare Club under the leadership of Arvinder Kumar Kaka had carried out a protest demanding to end the pension payment for current and former MLAs. Kaka had also appealed to CM Mann to put an immediate end to pension payments made through the government treasury. Former MLA and SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal had also asked the AAP government to use his pension for welfare for the state.
Newschecker conducted a keyword search for ‘Punjab MLA Pension’ to verify the claim that Bhagwant Mann is halting pension for ex-MLAs and minister, and found a tweet by CM Mann, dated March 25. The tweet carried a video of Mann with the caption, “Today, we have taken another big decision. The pension formula for Punjab’s MLAs will be changed. MLAs will now be eligible for only one pension. Thousands of crores of rupees which were being spent on MLA pensions will now be used to benefit the people of Punjab.”
In the video, Mann can be heard saying, “Punjab government has taken a decision that whether any MLA wins twice, five times or seven times, they will receive pension for only one term,” in Punjabi.
We continued our investigation and found a report by The Hindustan Times, dated March 25, 2022, with the title ‘Ex-MLAs to get pension for one term only: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann.’ According to the report, “Changing the pension formula for former members of legislative assembly (MLAs), Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday said lawmakers will get pension for only one term, doing away with the practice of drawing benefit for each term served by them.”
Newschecker also contacted AAP spokesperson Jagtar Singh Sanghera who said that the claim that the Punjab government is putting an end to pension payments for ministers and MLAs is misleading. “Former MLAs won’t be getting pension several times, but only for one term,” he told us.
The viral claim that the Punjab government is halting pension payments for ex-MLAs and ministers is misleading. They will be entitled for pension only for a single term.
Result: Misleading Content/Partly False
Official Twitter Account Of Bhagwant Mann
Direct Contact With Jagtar Singh Sanghera
(This article was originally published in Newschecker Hindi)
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