Leaders of agitating ex-servicemen over OROP met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar tonight after which they said the government was likely to come out with a “clarification” on its applicability to those who have opted for premature retirement. Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, who met the Minister along with few others, for the second time today, said the veterans would take a call on continuance of the agitation, that entered its 84th day, after a core committee meeting of the veterans.
“Defence Minister has confirmed that there is no VRS in defence services and so OROP will be applicable in PMR (Pre-mature Retirement). An official note would be given in a day or two after having a word with the Prime Minister. Parrikar has confirmed that he would give a clarification tomorrow evening or day after tomorrow. As far as Defence Minister and we are concerned that clause goes,” Singh told reporters.
Singh said he was “satisfied” with the Minister’s statement. However, he said,”..there are other issues which are yet to be done but the major issue is PMR which unnecessarily got put in. It was not required to be part of the note. How it has come we do not know.” The meeting came after the government announced its decision to implement OROP but the veterans rejected it with the issue of five year revision of pension and whether it would cover those who have taken pre-mature retirement becoming major sticking points.
Singh, who had earlier stuck to the stand of continuing with the agitation till every demand was met, also indicated towards a rethink of on whether to continue with the protest. “We will take any decision on the agitation after talking to the core group. The decision would be taken tomorrow morning. For now the clarification has been taken from the Defence Minister. If the VRS is not applicable to armed forces then there is no question of retrospective (impact),” he said.