OROP row: Veterans accuse Govt of 'shifting goalpost'

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New Delhi, Sep 3: The Deadlock over 'One rank, One Pension' (OROP) persisted today with agitating ex-servicemen accusing the government of "constantly shifting goalpost" and "wasting time" even as a fresh round of back-channel talks were held.

The veterans also accused the government of not coming out with any "concrete proposal" to resolve the issue. Some sections in the government were also giving misleading figures about financial ramifications in implementing the scheme, they alleged.

OROP row: Veterans accuse Govt of 'shifting goalpost'.
Asked what would be their reaction if the government unilaterally announces OROP on its own conditions, Col (Retd) Anil Kaul, media adviser to the United Front of Ex-Servicemen, said, "We will not accept it if it is against the agreed definition of OROP".

Hours after the press conference, Lt Gen (Retd) Balbir Singh, President of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement met Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag at his South Block Office along with Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh.

"No progress as such were made today. We reiterated our stand," Balbir told PTI.

Also read: OROP deadlock: Can't negotiate as Modi Govt is confused, say veterans

Asked if there has been any change in its committed position that they are ready to accept revision of pension once in two years, he said, "My stand has been that if a commitment is given, then it remains. These negotiations are not being carried out by children".

There were reports that a particular section of ex-servicemen wanted to go back on the commitment and stick to their original demand of revising pension every year.

Meanwhile, asked about their protest rally in poll-bound Bihar, Captain V K Gandhi (Retd), general secretary of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said, "We are not taking a political stand. But we will urge people to vote for a party which will fulfil their promises".

The veterans, whose agitation entered the 81st day today, said government has sent seven mediators to talk to them but all had come with "different concessions".

"Where do we go for negotiations. People from the government offer one thing and the next day another person comes up with another statement. They are constantly shifting goalpost. There is no clear signal of intent from the government or any concrete proposal," said Kaul.

"We are not asking for three per cent increment. This is a misnomer being floated," he said. Asked if the government was buying time, Wing Commander (Retd) C K Sharma, a senior official of the veteran grouping, said, "The correct word is prevaricate. The government is not buying time but is wasting time". 


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