NEW DELHI: Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not fulfilling his promises, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today demanded a definite date for implenting the long-pending One-Rank-One-Pension for ex-servicemen as he joined their agitation here.
Gandhi drove to Jantar Mantar where the Delhi Police tried to evict the ex-servicemen, holding protest for two months pressing for OROP, and disapproved of the police action, saying those who had protected the country must be respected.
"The reality is that our Prime Minister makes promises very easily but he fails to fulfil them. He had promised jobs to youths but 'Make in India' did not succeed. He had promised to clean India. But Swatch Bharat did not yield results.
"He had promised his corporate friends that he will get them the Land Bill approved. But it did not happen. Similarly, he had also promised to implement OROP but it has not materialised," Gandhi told reporters after meeting the agitating ex-servicemen.
The Congress Vice President insisted that the Prime Minister should have thought of technicalities in implementing the OROP before making the promise.
"The Prime Minister had promised that he will implement the OROP. It is a very simple matter, the Prime Minister must give a date now, if he says that on this date the work will be done, then this entire agitation will be over.
"The Prime Minister made a promise over OROP and now he just has to say one line, that I will get this work done by this date," said Gandhi.
Earlier in the day, police tried to evict the ex-servicemen from Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital on the ground of security ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. Later, Police Commissioner B S Bassi said they have been allowed to continue with their protest.
"They have guarded the borders all their life. They are protesting here, they are not doing anything wrong. There should be no use of force on them, they should not be evicted from this spot," Gandhi said.
The Congress Vice President said that his party had fulfilled the promise it had made on OROP, claiming that the UPA government had already decided on it.
"As far as the technicalities go, the government should have taken those into consideration before making any promises, not after the promises have been made," said Gandhi adding that Congress was lending its support to the agitators and will ensure that OROP is implemented.
The Modi government has been maintaining that it is committed to OROP, a key promise made during Lok Sabha polls.
Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
Currently, the pension for ex-servicemen is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when they had retired.