OROP: Will consider taking help of oppn parties, say ex-servicemen

New Delhi, Jun 19: As their relay hunger strike over the 'One Rank One Pension' demand entered its fifth day today, ex-servicemen said that they are considering taking help from opposition parties, especially in Bihar, to push their cause.

"United Front of Ex-Servicemen has received feelers from well-wishers for extension of support to its cause by the Bihar state units of the JD(U) and Congress parties," the group said in a release here even as it sought to underline that it is an apolitical body.

OROP: Will consider taking help of oppn parties, say ex-servicemen.
UFESM said that former UPA minister Jitendra Singh and ex- Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had wanted to join their protest but were turned down "politely but firmly" given its apolitical stance.

Also read: What is One Rank, One Pension of Armed forces?

"However, in view of the continued intransigence of the present government and its repeated failures to honour assurances given by the highest in authority, a view towards taking help from opposition parties will be actively considered," it said.

Assembly polls in Bihar are likely in September/October this year. BJP has a tough fight on hand against the JD(U)- RJD-Congress-NCP combine.

Besides Bihar, the veterans think they are a strong constituency also in Punjab where Assembly elections are due in early 2017.

The Narendra Modi government has said it is committed to OROP, a key promise made during Lok Sabha poll.

It is, however, yet to implement the scheme. Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the 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 ex-servicemen is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when they had retired.

So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws a lower pension than a Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.


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