Tribune News Service
Shimla, May 29
Ex-servicemen today served a one-month notice to the government to honour its commitment on the one-rank, one-pension (OROP) scheme or face their wrath.
“We have been waging a battle against the successive governments at the Centre for the past 31 years for getting the one-rank one-pension demand fulfilled and now with our patience running out, the All-India Ex-Servicemen League has decided to gherao the Prime Minister when he addresses the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15,” said Vijai Singh Mankotia, president of the Himachal Ex-Servicemen League.
Mankotia said, “The betrayal by the Modi regime which had promised to grant one-rank one-pension to us on the completion of one year of its rule has led to frustration among both retired as well as serving soldiers. It barely takes five minutes for Parliament and assemblies to double the salaries of its members but even after 31 years, since this demand of one-rank one pension was made in 1984, the Defence Minister has said it can take a few more months,” said Mankotia.
He said the All-India Ex-Servicemen had also urged the Chiefs of the Army and the Naval and Air Force to convey to the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister that any delay would only lead to demoralisation of the forces.
He said the strength of the ex-servicemen was almost 45 lakh and the number in Himachal stands at over 1.50 lakh. “Every year about 60,000 personnel retire and the financial implication of the one-rank one-pension demand is Rs 8,750 crore,” he said.
The PM announced a financial assistance of Rs 6,400 crore for Mongolia but when it came to those who were manning the borders against enemies, there was so much of dilly-dallying.
Mankotia said the league would hold talks with various farmers bodies who too had become victims of the government apathy. “The slogan, Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan, will again resonate as we will join hands with the farmers who are the worst suffers in view of the land Acquisition Bill,” he said.
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