In an attempt to keep the One Rank One Pension issue burning and corner the government over the alleged suicide of an ex-serviceman, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Friday met a group of ex-servicemen who had been holding a sit-in at Jantar Mantar.
The ex-servicemen were protesting against the alleged “non-implementation” of OROP for more than a year. And Rahul, who held a month-long kisan yatra in Uttar Pradesh recently, drew a parallel between the kisan and the jawan.
“Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan used to be the slogan. Fifteen industrialists were given Rs 1.1 lakh crore. But money is not being given to the kisan and armed forces personnel. Neither is the farmer being given respect, nor our ex-servicemen and the armed forces. What is happening? The Prime Minister says he has implemented One Rank One Pension. If you have implemented OROP, then why are our ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar?” he said.
“They have been at Jantar Mantar for the last 509 days… The truth is that the government has not implemented OROP,” he said. Rahul said the ex-servicemen had told him that it was not about money, but about their dignity and justice. “You should give them respect and accept their demand for implementation of OROP in a meaningful way. It is their right and the government will have to fulfill it,” Rahul said.
He reiterated his charge that the police had “abused and assaulted” the family of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide over the OROP issue earlier this week. “Leave aside the Army, no government should do such a thing to its people,” Rahul said. Former defence minister and Congress leader A K Antony, who met the ex-servicemen along with Rahul, tried to project him as the force behind the UPA government’s decision to implement OROP.