Despite a series of negotiations and number of discussions, hundreds of ex-servicemen took to the streets today across the country protesting against the delay in the implementation of the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) policy. The veterans are unhappy with the government’s inability to decide on a specific time frame for the implementation of the OROP scheme.
The former soldiers and war veterans have threatened to go an a relay hunger strike from tomorrow and have sought the intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee.
In Jaipur, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on today addressed their concerns, saying that the promises made will be kept and that they should be “patient”.
“I assure you whatever we have promised that all would be done. but some people need to be patient,” Parrikar said addressing a conference here on challenges and solutions regarding border safety.
Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme which envisages uniform pension for the defence personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
“Modi has assured us that it will be implemented, but it has been one year,” said Col. (retd) Anil Kaul, the media adviser to Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) at a rally in Jantar Mantar in the national capital.
Maj. Gen. (retd) Satbir Singh, vice-chairman of IESM, told media that the protests will continue till OROP is implemented.
The ex-servicemen reiterated they were not against any government, but pressing to get their long-pending dues.
Protests were also held in Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and other states covering over 50 cities, he said.