The state governments, especially those ruled by opposition parties, used the 7th Pay Commission recommendations as an effective tool to woo voters ahead of Assembly polls.
New Delhi, Jan 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government approved the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission in June last year. It’s been six months and the Modi government is yet implement the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. However the state governments, especially those ruled by opposition parties, used the 7th Pay Commission recommendations as an effective tool to woo voters ahead of Assembly polls. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his Uttarakhand counterpart Harish Rawat outsmarted the Modi government on implementation of the 7th Pay Commission ahead of Assembly elections in their states. Will the BJP pay the price for not implementing the 7th Pay Commission before Assembly polls?
The Assembly Elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur in the first quarter of the year. Of the five states, three - Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa - have announced they will implement the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. While Uttar Pradesh is governed by Samajwadi Party, Uttarakhand in under Congress rule. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power in Goa.
When the demonetisation drive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was making headlines in December last year, Chief Minister Harish Rawat led Uttarakhand government announced it will implement the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. Uttarakhand was the first to implement the 7th Pay Commission's recommendations. With the populist announcement, Harish Rawat hopes to fight anti-incumbency in the state.
Similarly, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav announced implementation of the 7th Pay Commission on December 13 last year, months before the crucial Assembly polls. The implementation of the 7th Pay Commission is likely to benefit more than 21 lakh state government employees, teachers and pensioners. The move is being seen by many as an attempt to offer sops to the government employees ahead of the crucial state assembly polls in 2017.
Goa, where the ruling BJP is fighting with Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, also announced it will implement the 7th Pay Commission recommendations before the model code of conduct came into force on January 4.
With pay hike decision under the 7th Pay Commission, the parties holding power in poll-bound states are trying to influence about 28 lakh employees and pensioners, and their dependents during the upcoming polls. On the other hand, the Modi government lost this battle politically as the model code of has come into force. It means the Modi government cannot announce the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission before March 8, by when the assembly polls would be over and budget presented.