NEW DELHI: Describing settlement of the 'One Rank, One Pension' issue as a "natural cause for Congress' anxiety", RSS mouthpiece 'Panchjanya' has said party President Sonia Gandhi's "hawabaaz" remarks against the Prime Minister were rooted in her "frustration" over being left behind in the political race. "OROP issue is settled.
It is hoped the youth will now again be attracted to the Armed Forces... Congress President's anti-government accusations are actually rooted in her frustration over being left behind in the political race. Her 'hawabaaz' remarks were made just three days after government accepted to implement OROP," says 'Panchjanya' editorial. It also took swipe at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, saying the OROP settlement has led to "fears in the dynasty's (read Gandhi family) young scion who has refused to assume leadership of the Congress ahead of Bihar elections".
"Where the resolution of OROP has come as a relief to Armed Forces after 42 years, it has come as a matter of anxiety for some youngsters now touching their fifth decade in politics. The scion of the dynasty is anxious. Ahead of Bihar polls, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has refused to take over the party's presidentship.
"After their embarrassment on OROP, Congress is worried about election results. Things are taking shape on the ground. If someone wants to dismiss all this as 'hawabaazi' in a bid to hide their own fears, so be it," says the editorial. Accusing Congress of "playing politics" on a sentimental issue like OROP, the RSS mouthpiece says, "Congress has committed the crime of politicising this issue of sentiment for the Armed Forces."
The piece justifies its allegations against the Congress by making three points: "Rahul Gandhi's attempt of trying to share the stage with retired veterans agitating for OROP ahead of Independence Day, UPA's attempt to appear pro-forces on the eve of 2014 Lok Sabha elections by keeping a meagre Rs 500 crore in the budget for OROP, and a series of recent statements by Congress spokespersons on the issue."
"Sonia Gandhi's 'hawabaaz' statement came three days after the government announced the decision to implement OROP. All later statements of Congress appear to be rooted in their anxiety over the matter's resolution," it said. Earlier this month, Sonia Gandhi had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his poll promises were nothing more than "hawabaazi" (empty talk). "Rahul Gandhi's act of attempting to share the dais with protesting Armed Forces veterans on Independence Day eve is an example of Congress politicising the issue. Mercifully his political ambition was thwarted," says the article.
It also accuses past Congress governments led by late Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi of not displaying the kind of political will that was needed to address the OROP issue. "If the administrative indifference of Congress remained intact even after veterans returned their medals to then President Pratibha Patil, who is to be blamed?" asks the editorial.
Citing OROP as one of the many pro-Armed Forces decisions taken by the NDA government, the article described recent decisions to set up a National War Memorial and allow armed forces personnel to vote from wherever they are posted as "equally significant".