New Delhi: Attacking the government over non-implementation of ‘one-rank-one-pension' scheme, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today said he will “pressurise” the Centre to act on the issue at the earliest.
After meeting a delegation from the ex-servicemen cell of the party, Gandhi said the UPA government had made provisions for the scheme and had even allocated money but the Narendra Modi government failed to implement the scheme.
“One year has passed of the NDA government, of the Modi government and it has not proceeded ahead with the issue. They (ex servicemen) had knocked the doors of the government, but nothing materialised. Army, Navy, Air Force take care of the nation, secure our borders, their demands should be met.
“We had alloted money and also taken a decision. One year has passed and this should happen at the earliest. We will pressurise the government and ask them to take a decision at the earliest,” Gandhi told reporters after the meeting with the delegation at the AICC headquarters here.
Former Minister of State for Defence and Congress leader Jitendra Singh accused the government of being anti-soldier. He said the UPA government first took an initiative on the issue in 2006, then in 2009 and 2013.
Singh said the party fears that the government was “diluting” some of the provisions.
“There were some discrepancies of about 10-20 per cent in the OROP scheme. We even cleared that in 2014. We also ensured that handicap persons and widows would get benefit.
“But it has been a year now and the government has still not implemented OROP. This government is anti-soldiers (sainink virodhi). We had sat on a dharna at Jantar Mantar on February 1 this year. We were given an assurance by the government that the problem will be solved in seven days, but nothing has happened yet.
OROP, a long standing demand of ex-servicemen's associations, relates to payment of uniform pension to defence forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
Col (retd) B C Lagwal, head of the party's ex-servicemen cell in Himachal Pradesh, demanded that the government expedite the process.