On the war path against the Modi government on the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP) for ex-servicemen, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the ruling dispensation of having lied on the issue, claiming that what has been implemented is not OROP but merely enhancement of pension.
Gandhi, who met a group of ex-servicemen at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, said that the veterans informed him that the central government has not implemented OROP, but only enhanced their pension.
Attacking the Modi government, the Congress vice president, who has been detained thrice by the Delhi police in two days over his protests on the issue of OROP, said, “The Prime Minister says OROP has been implemented. Then why are our retired soldiers protesting at Jantar Mantar?”
He accused the government of making concessions worth lakhs of crores for industrialists but not caring for the farmers and the soldiers.
“I want to say to this government. It will have to give our ex-servicemen, who have made sacrifices for our country, what is rightfully theirs,” Gandhi said.
The Congress leader said he saw the family of Ram Kishan Grewal, the ex-serviceman from Haryana who allegedly committed suicide in Delhi on the issue of OROP, being dragged and abused by the police. “No government can treat any citizen, leave alone people associated with the army, like this,” he said.
Gandhi demanded the government should apologise for the manner in which Grewal’s family was treated and implement OROP immediately.
In the run-up to the coming winter session of Parliament, Gandhi has gone aggressive on the issue of welfare of ex-servicemen. Earlier, he wrote a letter to the prime minister, demanding a meaningful implementation of OROP, rethink on the decision taken with regard to disability pension and also a review of the move to realign the status of military officers vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts.
The Congress vice president was detained twice as he attempted to meet the family of Grewal in Delhi on November two. He attended the funeral of the ex-serviceman in his native village in Haryana on November three. He was again detained later in the day as he insisted on marching to India Gate from Jantar Mantar to protest the handling of the issue.