New Delhi, Aug 14: Rahul Gandhi on Friday faced some resistance when he tried to join a protest by ex-servicemen over non-implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) as they insisted on not politicising the issue and questioned why he was "quiet" for 10 years when Congress was in power.
Attacking the Prime Minister over the delay in implementation of OROP, the Congress Vice President said government should have taken technicalities into consideration before making the promise on the issue.
"It is good that he came. But we will not allow anybody to politicise the issue. If any political party extends its support then we are ready to accept it. However, we will not let them use our platform," said Harinder Rana, a retired petty-officer from the navy.
"We did not let Rahul Gandhi use the dais. Why was he quiet for 10 years? Why didn't he speak then? We don't want to politicise the issue. That is why we did not let politician from any party climb up our podium," said another protesting ex-serviceman.
Rahul had reached Jantar Mantar here after the protesters were allegedly manhandled by police as it tried to evict them ahead of the Independence Day celebrations citing security reasons.
"They have guarded the borders all their life. They are protesting here, they are not doing anything wrong. There should be no use of force on them. They should not be evicted from this spot. The government must fulfil the demands of OROP. They made a promise, and they must now fulfil it at the earliest," Rahul said.
Lashing out at the government over the issue, the Congress vice-president also demanded a specific date for implementation of the OROP.
"It is a very simple matter, the Prime Minister must give a date now. If he says that on this date the work will be done, then this entire agitation will be over. The Prime Minister made a promise over OROP and now he just has to say one line, that he will get this work done by this date.
"I do not want to talk politically. But the PM has made a promise and all these people have fought for the country, given their lives for the country.
As far as the technicalities are concerned, the government should have taken those into consideration before making any promise and not after," he said.