Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday voiced his support for the ex-servicemen protesting at Jantar Mantar here and challenged PM Narendra Modi to come out with a date on which the government will implement the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme.
Rahul Gandhi, who interacted with the ex-servicemen here, told the media that they should not be removed from the protest venue as they are not doing anything wrong.
“People from the army and jawans spend their lives on the border, they are protesting now and they shouldn’t be removed. These people are just protesting and not doing anything wrong. They shouldn’t be hurt and removed, they’re protesting for their right. The government should fulfill OROP demand. Prime Minister, who has promised, should give a date as to when he can bring in OROP, all this protest will end then,” said Gandhi.
“They should have thought about the technicalities before promising it. Now, we just want a date, these people want a date,” he added.
Extremely disappointed with the delay in implementation of the OROP scheme, four former service chiefs have written an open letter to President Pranab Mukherjee requesting his intervention and said that its denial is merely the last straw that has exhausted the veterans’ patience.
OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three-million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel, who retire at the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement.