New Delhi, Jul 3: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has conveyed the NDA government's "unequivocal commitment" in implementing 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) when a delegation of ex-servicemen, who are on a strike for past 19 days pressing for its execution, met him.
Not happy with Parrikar's assurance, the agitating ex-servicemen said the question of ending the protest does not arise without a government announcement on implementing the long-pending demand.
He said Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag was also present at the meeting. "The question of calling off the relay hunger strike does not arise unless a date for implementing it is announced and that too without dilution," he said.
Kaul said the minister told the delegation that the file pertaining to OROP with various observations regarding resolutions of complexities had been received by him but he had not been able to study it. Another meeting is likely to take place with the minister either on July 6 or 7, he said.
The relay hunger strike of ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar entered 19th day today. "We will wait for government's decision on OROP till July 15 and then take our agitation for OROP to next level in which local ex-servicemen organisations all over the country will resort to demonstrations and other peaceful ways of voicing their grievance," said Major General (retd) Satbir Singh, one of the leaders of the protest.
The Narendra Modi government has been maintaining that it is committed to OROP, a key promise made during Lok Sabha poll.
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 ex-servicemen is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when they had retired.