BJP sends emissary as TMC, CPI-M support OROP protest
Political support poured in on Wednesday for ex-servicemen demanding the implementation of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme, even as the BJP sent party leader Vijay Goel to assure the veterans on their demand.
While Anna Hazare said he would arrive at Jantar Mantar to join the ex-servicemen’s protest on July 26, Trinamool Congress and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) too voiced their support for the veterans, protesting here since June 14.
Goel met the agitating ex-servicemen on Wednesday – the 32nd day of their protest – and assured them that the central government was working towards implementing the scheme.
The ex-servicemen have been resorting to a relay hunger strike since June 15.
“I met the ex-servicemen today on the OROP issue. Many of them have faith that the Modi government will implement it, but they are questioning why it has been delayed,” Goel said in a tweet.
Maj. Gen Satbir Singh (retd), chairman of the Indian ex-Servicemen Movement, told IANS that Goel assured them that OROP will be implemented.
“He assured that the prime minister will give us the OROP. We told him the delay is not acceptable; it should have happened long back,” Singh told IANS.
“We conveyed that if the implementation (of OROP) is announced, we will end the agitation. If there is further delay, we will like to know what is the reason for the delay,” he said.
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien met the protesting veterans on Wednesday and conveyed the support of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for their cause.
United Front of Ex-Servicemen Morcha (UFESM) spokesperson Col. Anil Kaul (retd) told IANS they also got a letter of support from CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
“We have urged them (political leaders) to raise the issue in parliament,” Singh told IANS.
The ex-servicemen are demanding that the government give them a definite date for OROP implementation and that the nature of the scheme should not be changed.
Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the pay commission recommendations in force at the time of their retirement.
This leads to a difference in pension for officers of the same rank who retire on different dates.