Miffed over delay in the issuance of the notification for ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) Scheme, protesting veterans today announced they will return their service medals across the country from next week even as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the notification will be issued before Diwali.
“The government has delayed the notification of OROP under the pretext of Model Code of Conduct in place due to Bihar polls. We fear that the notification will not take into account our demand for which we have been on protest over the last 145 days at Jantar Mantar and across the country,” Group Captain V K Gandhi (Retd), general secretary of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement said.
He added that they will also scale up the protest next week.
As per the plan, Gandhi said that the veterans will hand over their medals to the district magistrates across the country on November 9 and 10. He said that if they don’t accept the medals, they will be left in their offices which can be later sent to either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or President Pranab Mukherjee.
“Time is over for the government to shift the goalpost,” said Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement.
Meanwhile, Manohar Parrikar said the formal OROP notification would be issued before Diwali.
“As you are aware, it will be issued before Diwali,” Parrikar told reporters here in reply to a question when the notification on OROP will come out.
Though the government had announced OROP scheme on September 5, a section of the veterans had continued their protest citing seven lacunae, including annual equalisation, 2013-14 as the base year among others.