Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who had negotiated between the government and ex-servicemen over OROP, today urged the veterans not to return their medals and asked them to engage with the one-man commission set up for redressal of the remaining matters.
He acknowledged that certain issues in the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ remain “contentious” and asked the ex-servicemen to keep faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which he described as “without doubt one of the most pro-forces and pro-veteran governments” in the country’s history.
He issued a statement on a day when many ex-servicemen, unhappy with the details of the OROP notified by the government on November 7, began to return their awards.
“The notification by government of One Rank, One Pension (OROP) on November 7, 2015 is a culmination of 40 years of wait by the veterans and widows. The decision marked OROP the biggest and most significant welfare measure for veterans in post-Independent India by any government,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
Noting that “some veterans and veteran organizations” have expressed their dissatisfaction about this notification, he said he had learnt about their decision to surrender their medals to express their protest. “I request them not to do so,” Chandrasekhar said.
“As someone who led this issue with the government and Parliament since 2006 and fighting for the welfare of veterans, I appeal to veterans to not to agitate but engage with government,” he said and promised to work for addressing all issues affecting the veterans, the armed forces personnel and their families.
“I do accept and agree that there are certain issues in OROP that remain contentious. But I urge veterans to understand how far we have come and instead of agitating continue to engage with government including with One-man judicial committee on the issue going forward,” he said.
“The political leadership of PM Modi is without doubt one of the most pro-forces and pro-veteran governments in history of India and this is something that needs to be built on as further ways to improve the cause of our armed forces, veterans and families,” Chandrasekhar said.