One Rank One Pension: Ex-servicemen hold nationwide protests

The protest comes after talks with the government failed as the ex-servicemen were not given a specific timeline for the implementation of the long-pending OROP.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: June 14, 2015 2:14 pm
OROP, OROP protests, Manohar ParrikarOROP protests jantar mantar, OROP protests delhi, delhi orop protests, army protests jantar mantar, army veterans protest, OROP implementation, implementation of OROP, One rank one pension, Parrikar, Defence ministry, ministry of defece, delhi news, india news, indian express Even though the government has said it is committed to implementing OROP, there has been no official clarification on why the scheme is getting delayed. (Express Photo by Pranav Kulkarni/Twitter)

Upset over the delay in the implementation of the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ policy, ex-servicemen held protests across the country, including in the national capital, demanding its immediate introduction.

The former soldiers have threatened to go on a relay hunger strike from tomorrow.

The protest comes after talks — both formal and back- channel — with the government failed as the ex-servicemen were not given a specific timeline for the implementation of the long-pending OROP.

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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured us that it will be implemented, but it has been one year,” said Col. (retd) Anil Kaul, the media advisor to Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM).

Maj. Gen. (retd) Satbir Singh, the vice-chairman of IESM, told the media that the protests will continue till the time OROP is not implemented.

The ex-servicemen maintained that they were not against any government but are protesting to get their long-pending dues. They also said that they have sought an appointment with the President Pranab Mukherjee to take up this matter.

Interestingly, some farmers’ groups and students from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University also joined the protests today.

The slogan of ‘Jai Kisan, Jai Jawan’ was raised as a group of farmers joined the protest at Jantar Mantar here to support the ex-servicemen.

The Modi government has said that it is committed to OROP, one of its key poll promises but has been unable to implement it till now.

In the eighth instalment of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio talk, Modi had assured ex-servicemen that his government would soon resolve the OROP issue.

OROP envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme.

Even though the government has said it is committed to implementing OROP, there has been no official clarification on why the scheme is getting delayed.

Defence ministry sources said that the OROP file is with the Finance Ministry for a final budgetary approval. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has repeatedly said that the government has completed all formalities and OROP will be implemented soon.

Meanwhile, a group of ex-servicemen considered to be close to the RSS, wrote over the weekend to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking the implementation of OROP so as to not “breach the trust” of 25 lakh retired soldiers.

In an open letter, it also sought that a definite date be declared for the implementation of OROP.

Recalling that Modi had at a rally in September 2013 at Rewari promised to look after armed forces personnel if elected to power at the Centre, the Akhil Bharatiya Poorva Sainik Seva Parishad said OROP is a burning and emotive issue.

“The ex-servicemen across the country felt that finally here was a political party that is friendly and empathetic towards the cause of a soldier. As a result, most of us went all out to campaign for the BJP throughout India,” Lt Gen. (retd) VM Patil, president of the Parishad, said in the open letter to Jaitley.

“However, we now hear that your ministry, if not you personally, is delaying the implementation process and are exploring the possibility of combining the issue of 7th Pay Commission, or worse, just delay the announcement of OROP indefinitely,” he said.

Underlining that soldiers were prone to talk straight and bluntly, Patil said the signals emerging from finance ministry makes them believe that the “government, or at least a section of the government, is bent on breaching the trust of 25 lakh ex-servicemen in India”.

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  1. S
    Satendra kumar
    Jun 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm
    The pension issue should for ex-service The pension should be compulsory for all ex-servicemen they always work hard for the country at least they are not forgotten.
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    1. D
      david
      Jun 14, 2015 at 4:25 pm
      Modi must think about all other central govt. employees for one rank one pension.
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      1. M
        Milind
        Jun 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm
        Mr.David, the defense service people esp soldiers belonging to Army then retire at the age of 37-40, when there is no second career option except security officers in other govt undertaking. these early retirees are highly trained human resource which indian industry is not able to utilize. Everybody know all govt employees (except defence) how they work and at what age they retire. if the goventmnet employees dies during service his son gets a job army it doesn't happen.
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        1. J
          jwo
          Jun 27, 2015 at 3:28 am
          OFFICER ARE FOLLOWING BRITISH RULE LAW. THEY ARE NOT REQUIRES IN ARMED FORCES. JAWAN ONLY REQUIRED. SO PM MODY IS RIGHT. DONOTIMPLRMENTORP
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          1. N
            NS Teotia
            Jun 15, 2015 at 1:46 pm
            This way BJP is also buying the time for next elections. What is the logic of having patience now? Since last year (May 2014) to till date BJP is telling wait,wait,wait & wait. Our Defense minister Mr. Parikar had been telling since Dec 2015 that the OROP will be rolled out in 4 weeks, then by budget, than by end of financial year 2014-15, then by april end, Finally at the end of May 2015 he says he has done his part, now finance ministry will do their part. Then our PM siad in MAN KI BAAT that people have elected him for 5 years. This means that every minister/employeee in this government need some time at every level to implement the OROP. When ever there is a ry raise for parliamentarians, this is psed in two minutes. For God sake and country sake please do not tell the veteran community to wait any more. The limits already crossed.
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