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Hoping to strike a chord with around 3 million ex-servicemen, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will this week nudge the Modi government to deliver on its election promise to implement one-rank one-pension (OROP) in the armed forces.
Gandhi will meet a group of ex-servicemen at the party headquarters on Saturday where he will try to corner the NDA government, a Congress leader said.
Over the last few weeks, the three-time Amethi MP has been unsparing in his attacks on the Narendra Modi government over issues concerning farmers, landless labourers, netizens, middle class home buyers and fishermen.
Gandhi had raised the demand with the UPA government and persuaded the finance ministry to approve OROP. This would give retired soldiers of the same rank and the same length of service the same pension, irrespective of when they retired.
“I am on your side. I understand your concerns. You give your life for the country. I will do all that I can to see that your demands are met,” Gandhi had told a group of 1,000-odd ex-servicemen from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Punjab during an interaction in February 2014.
Congress leaders pointed out that the BJP had pledged to quickly roll-out OROP but appeared to be dithering on its implementation.
However, government sources hinted that the long-pending demand could be announced anytime soon, with a corpus of about ` 8,400 crore. The push for OROP will also benefit about 6,00,000 widows and 1.5 million serving military personnel.