Former army chief and now a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Gen VK Singh said on Monday that the soldiers were ‘supposed to obey orders given to them’ and they needed to learn ‘patience.’
While commenting on the manhandling of soldiers at Jantar Mantar on 14 August, Gen Singh blamed the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, which forcibly tried to evict the protesting soldiers.
Talking to reporters in Bhopal, he said that there were some legal hurdles in implementing the One Rank One Pension and PM Modi was trying to do away with them to ensure ‘it can’t be challenged’ after the implementation of OROP.
He said, ” I am quite hopeful that the issue be resolved soon but request the ex-servicemen to wait and watch peacefully rather taking a shortcuts through mass protest.”
Gen Singh blamed Congress for the delay in implementing OROP.
He said, “OROP provides for the same pension for the same length of service by personnel of the same rank, irrespective of the date of retirement. Any increments in pension rates are to be added onto the past pensioners’ pay as well. In 2011, the total expense on OROP was Rs 3200 crore which escalated to a whooping Rs 8,000 crores in 2015.”
Gen Singh had shared stage with Narendra Modi when the latter addressed his maiden election rally of ex-servicemen at Haryana’s Rewari after being declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate on September 15, 2013.
PM Modi had promised the army veterans to implement OROP after becoming the prime minister.
The protesting ex-servicemen have accused him of reneging on his poll promise and betraying the trust of every soldier in this country.