NEW DELHI: The issue of ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) continues to remain unsolved, as the deadlock persisted on Friday with government seeking “some more time” for implementing it after the agitating veterans rejected its latest offer on resolving the vexed issue over which they started protests 75 days ago.
“Whatever they have finally offered is not acceptable to us. Yesterday what was told to us is nowhere close to the definition” that had been decided and accepted by Parliament,” Maj Gen Satbir Singh (Retd), chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement said.
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar drew flak from the veterans for his remarks that government needs “some time” to fill “small gaps” for implementation of OROP. “What Raksha Mantri said, I’m rather disheartened. He is now saying that there are gaps. He cannot say anything that is totally different than what was told to us all these days,” Satbir Singh added.
“Hundreds of veterans, who participated in the 1965 war with Pakistan, joined the protest and boycotted the Golden jubilee programme,” a statement by the United Front of Ex-Servicemen, the umbrella organization of veterans leading the OROP protest, said.
From Friday, the Ministry of Defence has kicked off its 25-day celebrations to mark the golden jubilee of India’s victory in the 1965 war with Pakistan. To begin, as a mark respect, President Pranab Mukerjee paid tribute at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. However, the Defence Ministry in the evening released pictures showing some veterans at the wreath-laying ceremony organised at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. Home Minister Rajnath Singh met the veterans earlier in the day and assured that necessary action will be taken by the government, which has already in-principle accepted their demand.
Satbir said the ex-servicemen have turned down the government’s offer to increase pension every five years instead of doing it annually.