Agartala: To prevent the defection of MLAs from the ruling dispensation, the Tripura council of ministers in a meeting last night changed the norms for getting facilities including pension and medical reimbursement of the legislators and announced unless serving a full term they would not get any benefit.
The government spokesperson Sushanta Chowdhury told the media that earlier the MLAs were eligible for getting all benefits if served four years. After the BJP-IPFT government came to power in 2018 had amended the provision and reduced the tenure for getting benefits if an MLA served even for a day. Now, it has been amended again and decided at least five years service term is mandatory for MLAs to avail the benefits.
“As per the new decision, an MLA has to complete a minimum one-term as an MLA to get various facilities and privileges. In case, he or she fails to become MLA in the next election, the person will be entitled to get all facilities. But if an MLA resigned or moved from the post before completion of a term and failed to re-elect in the by-election, would not be entitled to the benefits,” Chowdhury said.
The decision has evoked severe criticism from oppositions and they said it was made to prevent the defection of BJP MLAs to other parties following a threat from All India Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee to Chief Minister Biplab Deb that as many as 15 ruling party MLAs had been in touch with TMC to join.
The decision came two days after MLA Ashis Das’ exit from the BJP and joining TMC. According to the report, a large number of BJP MLAs and senior leaders are all set to desert the party after ensuing civic body elections protesting the central BJP leaders who had reportedly assured the decent MLAs to accommodate them after changing the chief minister.
The CPI-M reacted sharply and said that such abrupt decisions indicated the organisational weakness and the common sentiment against the vendetta politics of Biplab Deb government and prevailing inner-party conflict in the BJP and dissatisfaction of BJP MLAs on the government.