BHUBANESWAR: Armed forces veterans from Odisha on Sunday joined the nationwide protest against the delay in implementation of one rank one pension (OROP) by the Central Government.
Hundreds of ex-servicemen staged a dharna at Lower PMG Square here demanding the Government to spell out a timeline for its implementation rather than assurances again and again.
The veterans said they have lost patience over the delay and were left with no option but to resort to agitation. A team of retired defence personnel from the State will also take part in the relay hunger strike in New Delhi which is set to begin from Monday.
They stated to have had high hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for speedy implementation of OROP but his recent statements have come as a shocker to millions of retired personnel who are fighting for their legitimate rights since decades.
“The veterans believed that they had found a genuine leader who would stick to his commitment. But the inaction has poured cold water on our expectations,” general secretary, Indian Ex-Services League Bidyadhar Nayak said.
While the Prime Minister and Defence Minister have repeatedly assured that OROP is on its way, a whole year has passed. The ex-servicemen got a greater shock on May 31 when the Prime Minister termed it a complex issue and sought more time to solve it. He has also indicated that the Government was elected for five years and would find a solution.
“Does this imply that OROP has got entangled in bureaucratic malaise for another four years? We have every reason to believe that the Prime Minister is being fed with falsities by sections who are against OROP and lobbies are working hard against the armed forces personnel,” Nayak said.
The Government should announce a definitive timeline for implementation of OROP as the ex-servicemen are no more in mood to wait, the IESL stated in a memorandum to Governor SC Jamir on Sunday.
A team led by League president Gp Captain Jagadananda Brahma, Air Force Association, Odisha Branch Secretary JWO Arun Mohanty and Nayak submitted the memorandum to the Governor.