New Delhi, July 9: Social activist Anna Hazare will soon join the ongoing relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in support of 'One Rank One Pension', a group of protesting ex-servicemen said on Wednesday.
Hazare has already expressed his support to the long-pending OROP scheme [Activist Anna Hazare pledges support for OROP], saying it is a "fair demand".
"Anna Hazare has written to Prime Minister and others. He has also assured that he will be joining the relay hunger strike on Jantar Mantar shortly," Col (Retd) Anil Kaul, media advisor to United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM) said.
Peeved at not being able to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar this week, he said that UFESM has decided not to request for meeting with anyone. "The onus of any further meeting lies with the establishment," he said.
Anna Hazare has written to Prime Minister and others
The Modi government has said it is committed to OROP, a key promise made during the Lok Sabha polls. It has, however, not implemented it till now. Also, there has been no official word on why the scheme is getting delayed.
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 retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. Therefore, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws a lower pension than a Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.