Ex-servicemen protesting OROP choose Congress in poll-bound states

New Delhi, January 4: Challenging Modi government’s proclaims that say OROP has been implemented successfully across the country, a group of ex-servicemen who are fighting for implementation of One Rank-One Pension (OROP) on Thursday chose congress as their political party in all poll-bound states.

In a joint press conference in New Delhi with Congress, Major General Satbir Singh of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) said that ex-army men will support the Congress party for it has assured them of fighting for their demands.

The group has been protesting over the implementation of OROP and seventh pay commission at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for the past 571 days.

The ruling BJP has been criticized for diluting the rights of OROP under the seventh pay commission and cheating the ex-servicemen by not paying their dues.

So far the Congress party has made visible efforts in all the sates and supported ex army personals. Right from Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh to Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat, Congress ministers have put forth a sharp attack on NDA government over OROP and related issues.

In Punjab, Congress has included a 21-point agenda for the ex-servicemen in its manifesto. “There will be a dedicated ex-servicemen (ESM) cell in the chief minister’s office,” said Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh.

He also said: We will also create department of Guardians of Governance at village, panchayat and block levels to monitor expenditure of funds and implementation of government schemes for retired military personnel.

Amarinder Sigh slammed Prime Minister Modi and defence minister Parrikar for putting the OROP demand on the back-burner and cheating the ex servicemen of their “rightful dues” by revising ranking system as it widened the disparity between civil and military officers.

Virbhadra Singh said it was shameful for NDA government that soldiers are agitating. The government is completely oblivious to their cause.

Rawat claimed Modi government for “diluting and diverting” the OROP issue.

Since OROP was implemented in September 2015, ex-servicemen had been saying that the scheme fails to address their concerns. In November, a retired Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal committed suicide over the issue.

Wefornews Bureau

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