What prompted you to walk out today?
I had raised the matter of OROP… The Congress-led UPA tried to address the issue in 2011 by setting up a committee headed by BJP’s Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. This is a proof we never looked at it as a partisan issue. In 2014, we passed it unanimously in the Lok Sabha. Since then the government changed. PM Narendra Modi promised that within 100 days they will implement OROP. But nothing was done… On November 17, Centre came out with the notification but ex-servicemen were disappointed with it.
But why did you walk out?
When I reminded the House that OROP was passed for the first time under UPA government, some BJP MPs started obstructing… I thought it is not proper for me continue in an environment where some are trying to bring politics onto the floor of the House.
What is your demand on the OROP issue?
There are three issues. Instead of annual review, the government has now brought in a clause saying OROP will be reviewed on a five-year basis. This basically leaves the problem almost as it is. The annual review should be restored. For premature retirees, the government should not discriminate and OROP should be available for all. And thirdly, OROP should be immediately implemented.
How do you plan to take it forward in Parliament?
Supplementary demands for grants are coming up next week. We will see if the government is getting the money to implement it. Otherwise, we will move a motion that the government should seek money.
The Congress often complains that its MPs are not allowed to speak in Lok Sabha. Is it linked to that? Is the grievance also addressed to the Chair?
Not during this intervention. The Speaker did take somebody else’s name while I was talking. But when I raised the matter again, the Speaker was kind enough to give the mic back. I walked out at the behaviour of certain BJP MPs.