After nearly a decade, those arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in Madhya Pradesh, also known as 'democracy fighters' during the Emergency, will not be felicitated on the occasion of Independence Day on Thursday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the erstwhile MISA-detainees on Wednesday expressed their dissatisfaction over the Kamal Nath-led state government's decision.
During the Emergency (1975-77), then Indira Gandhi government had put several political opponents behind the bars.
In 2008, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh gave them the status of 'Misabandi Loktantra Senani', and began felicitating them on every Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15).
The current Congress-led dispensation has discontinued several policies introduced by the previous BJP government.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said: "The state government will felicitate the freedom fighters and the martyrs' kin. 'Misabandi' is a different subject."
State BJP President Rakesh Singh has objected to the Kamal Nath government's decision, associating it with the insult of 'fighters of democracy'.
During the BJP rule, the 'Misabandis' were sent special invitations during Republic Day and Independence Day. They were bought to the ceremony venues in government vehicles.
Also, the continuation of the pension scheme for 'Misabandis', introduced under the BJP, looks uncertain now.
--IANS hindi-pgh/ arm
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