NEW DELHI: Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over OROP, Congress today accused him of "diluting" the UPA's proposal on the scheme for retired servicemen and also "deliberately" distorting facts.
Questioning the Prime Minister's claim that governments in the last 40 years did nothing to implement one rank one pension, the party asked if he was also attacking former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who also ruled during the period.
"Prime Minister has mastered the art of distorting the facts and misrepresenting. He either suffers from a selective amnesia or is deliberately telling untruth to confuse and mislead the masses," senior Congress leader Anand Sharma today said.
"The Prime Minister is not telling the truth. Is he also accusing besides the Congress, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of not doing anything? Because let's remind Narendra Modi that in the last 40 years Congress was not in office for 10 years," Sharma asked.
He further said that the decision on OROP was the fallout of public pressure and anguish among people.
"Even now, his decision is linked to public pressure. There was anguish in the country to see day after day the veterans, soldiers, who have defended our frontiers demanding and agitating," Sharma said.
The former Union Minister also asked the Prime Minister and Defence Minister to explain what he said dilution in OROP and why it took 15 months to honour the assurance on OROP.
Congress leader and former defence minister AK Antony accused the Centre of "substantially diluting" the scheme as well doing politics over it.
"Yesterday's announcement according to me is a substantial dilution of OROP principle. And it is a dilution of the UPA's announcement, that OROP will be introduced from April 2014. There also this government is playing politics.
"Because if they accept 1st April 2014, they fear that the credit will go to the UPA. So they made a change to 1st July," Antony said.
Earlier today, Modi slammed people trying to "mislead" the armed forces over the government's OROP decision and made a veiled attack on Congress saying the party has no right to raise questions since it did nothing in 40 years.
He said some people are trying to "mislead" the armed forces, particularly on the issue of premature retirement and the setting up of a commission as proposed in the decision.