TDP-JSP-BJP alliance seeks NHRC intervention in pension disbursement in Andhra

The TDP-JSP-BJP alliance in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday sought intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the wake of recent events regarding the alleged mishandling of pension distribution by the state government, reportedly resulting in the death of 33 pensioners.

Leaders of the three parties addressed a joint letter to the NHRC Chairman, highlighting serious human rights violations and systemic failures leading to the loss of innocent lives.

They alleged that despite clear directives from the Election Commission of India to ensure uninterrupted pension distribution through alternative arrangements, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government chose to summon pensioners to secretariats, resulting in extreme hardships for the beneficiaries.

This decision, seemingly influenced by political interests, tragically led to 33 deaths due to sunstroke and related causes, TDP leader Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, BJP’s Shaik Baji, and Jana Sena’s Dr Daneti Sridhar wrote in the letter to NHRC, urgently seeking its intervention and corrective measures.

They demanded immediate action to ensure door-to-door pension delivery using government staff and disciplinary proceedings against negligent officials. Furthermore, they sought a high-level inquiry to hold accountable those responsible for systemic failures and prevent further harm to vulnerable segments of society.

The tragic events in Andhra Pradesh highlight the duty of elected officials to prioritise citizen well-being and uphold principles of justice, dignity, and human rights, they said, adding that their joint letter serves as a call to action, urging a swift resolution to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

They mentioned that the ECI had directed the state government to keep the volunteers away from the distribution of pensions and other cash benefits, by making alternate arrangements. However, the government called the pensioners to village/ward secretariats to collect pensions, though they had cautioned that the pensioners would suffer in walking a distance of 4 to 5 km with temperatures of above 40 degrees Celsius and requested the Chief Secretary to ensure door delivery of pensions but to no avail.

The tripartite alliance alleged that no proper arrangements were made for the pensioners at the secretariats, and accused the government of doing all this intentionally to blame the alliance for stalling the disbursement of pensions.

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