One Rank One Pension – Veterans Prepare to Scale Up the Agitation

One Rank One Pension – The veterans want the base year for OROP to be financial year 2013-14, in place of 2013 announced by the government. They want the date of implementation to be April 2014, instead of July 2014. The veterans also want the one man judicial commission to be replaced with a five member committee with their due representation.

We all know that the One Rank One Pension demand by the Ex;Servicemen was accepted by the Government a few days back. However the differences between the Government and the Veterans on a few demands, stands unresolved, and the Veterans continued with their protest. The agitation by the ex-servicemen completed its 93rd day yesterday, and the protest leaders said a mega rally will be held on December 13 if the issue is not resolved by then.

“We are going to scale up the agitation. There will be a series of rallies in Bihar, Punjab and Haryana, and a major rally in Delhi on December 13 if the issue is not resolved,” Major General Satbir Singh (retd.), who has been spearheading the agitation, told IANS.

“It is the misfortune of the country that the soldiers are not being respected. The soldier takes bullets for the nation, and dies unsung… The widow of a jawan gets Rs. 3,500. How can she support her family with that,” asked Major General Singh. He also added “To reach out to the youth and people of the nation, we will also hold a series of marches,” quoting Kargil war he said, “In the Kargil war, 527 soldiers died, and over 1,300 were left disabled, they cry every day. Can’t this government pay them the credit for the work they have already done?”

Major General Singh also strongly objected to the remarks of the Prime Minister in Chandigarh, when he said that the poor of the country are to be thanked for OROP as they gave away what was there to provide OROP which will cost more than Rs. 10,000 crore.

Mr Singh commented, “We are asking for our dues. If the Prime Minister feels we are taking away the share of poor, we do not want it.” He further added, “We are asking for what is rightfully ours. We were cheated in 1973, the civil government employees increased their pension from 33 per cent to 50 per cent and reduced ours.”

The veterans want the base year for OROP to be financial year 2013-14, in place of 2013 announced by the government. They want the date of implementation to be April 2014, instead of July 2014 as announced by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The veterans also want the one man judicial commission to be replaced with a five member committee with their due representation.

Ex-servicemen are also against exclusion of those with premature release from the benefits of OROP. The government later assured that those with premature retirement will not be excluded, even though the original announcement mentioned exclusion of those who take voluntary retirement.

Another issue is the fixation of pension as per the highest pension for the rank, against government’s announcement of it being the average of the highest and the lowest pensions, with protection to those with higher pension.

The veterans said that they may book the Ramlila ground for the mega rally planned to be organised in December to register their strong protest against the Government.

Meanwhile, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, who has been working on the issue of OROP for several years, asked the veterans to have “confidence in the Narendra Modi government”, and added: “To doubters, I say that I will stake my political career on this.”

Source: NDTV

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