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PMO intervenes in OROP row, to speak to ex-servicemen to resolve the issue

PMO intervenes in OROP row, to speak to ex-servicemen to resolve the issue

The Centre has reiterated its commitment towards the OROP but has refrained from giving a time frame on the its implementation.

New Delhi: Feeling the heat over the demand of ex-servicemen for 'One Rank One Pension' scheme. the Prime Minister's office (PMO) has stepped in to resolve the issue. PM Narendra Modi's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra will negotiate on the issue of OROP with the veterans. This step comes even as three former defence personnel have gone on fast unto death demanding the implementation of OROP.

The Centre has reiterated its commitment towards the OROP but has refrained from giving a time frame on the its implementation. The Centre has maintained that the scheme will be implemented as soon as the technical difficulties are resolved.

Over 2.5 million strong ex-servicemen and war widows community has been demanding One Rank One Pension for almost four decades. It was being speculated that Modi will make an announcement on the scheme in his speech on Independence Day but he only reinstated his commitment and said that the demand will be fulfilled as soon as the technical nitty gritty is resolved.

The PM's speech left the ex servicemen hugely disappointed as this was a key promise in Modi's poll campaign during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The protesting ex-servicemen and war widows have decided to boycott all the government programmes including the 50th anniversary of 1965 war with Pakistan, which the government is planning to celebrate on August 28.

Ten former defence chiefs also shot off a letter to Modi over the police action on those protesting for OROP implementation, urging him to order a probe into the treatment meted out to veterans, who were allegedly manhandled by Delhi Police officials. They also urged the Prime Minister to resolve the issue at the earliest.

Terming the stand of the government as arrogant, former Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas accused the government of giving "very bad treatment to the defence forces". Pointing that all ex-servicemen were expecting something from the Prime Minister during his speech from Red Fort on August 15, Admiral L Ramdas said that the BJP did not fulfil promise made during 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

However, these developments failed to break any ice with the government as Union Minister and former Army Chief General (retired) VK Singh reiterated the Centre's position, saying OROP would be implemented as soon as the technical difficulties were resolved.

first published:August 18, 2015, 12:48 IST