New Delhi, Aug 31: As the protest by ex-servicemen demanding implementation of 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) entered its 78th day on Monday, senior Supreme Court lawyer and former BJP leader Ramjethmalani joined the protesters at Jantar Mantar.
The lawyer-turned-politician also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not fulfilling his promise to implement OROP and said PM has completely frustrated his dream off him.
"I am ashamed to say that Modi has completely frustrated my dream off him," Jethmalani told media persons in New Delhi.
The expelled BJP leader alleged that the politicians have let the entire nation down.
"The politicians unfortunately have let down the entire nation. I feel ashamed in saying I'm a politician too, but I'm not one of those politicians who will forget their friends and people of nation," he added.
I am ashamed to say that Modi has completely frustrated my dream off him: Ram Jethmalani at OROP protest in New Delhi pic.twitter.com/WWqCiw218B— ANI (@ANI_news) August 31, 2015
Jethmalani, who is known for taking anti-party stand, also slammed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for hindering the implementation of OROP.
"Finance Minister is your enemy and the enemy of the nation. They might go to court against me," he further added.
Ram Jethmalani: Finance Minister is your enemy and the enemy of the nation. They might go to court against me. pic.twitter.com/AV4j56fKbK— ANI (@ANI_news) August 31, 2015
Meanwhile, Major Gen (rtd) Satbir Singh, protesting at Jantar Mantar, said, "We are still ready to lay down our lives for nation but there must not be injustice."
On Sunday, 10 veterans continued their indefinite fast -- four of them in hospital.
Col. Pushpender Singh (retd), Hav. Ashok Chauhan (retd), Maj. Piar Chand Rana (retd) and Hav. Sahib Singh (retd) continued their indefinite fast in hospital where they were moved after their health deteriorated.
Hav. Major Singh (retd) is still at the Jantar Mantar protest site despite his deteriorating condition.
I feel ashamed in saying I'm a politician too,bt I'm not one of those politicians who will forget their friends & ppl of nation:R Jethmalani— ANI (@ANI_news) August 31, 2015
Also on an indefinite fast at the Jantar Mantar are Naik Udai Singh Rawat, Sawal Ram Yadav, father of martyr Lance Naik Sunil Kumar Yadav, Cdr. AK Sharma, Subedar Vijay Singh Yadav and Subedar Keshaw Singh, all retired soldiers.
An official statement from the ex-servicemen said N.K. Bal Singh, who was on relay hunger strike, was evacuated following medical complications. He was now in a stable condition.
On Saturday, the ex-servicemen wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee, saying some veterans were developing medical complications due to their indefinite hunger strike for two weeks, and the government will be responsible for any untoward incident.
A few points of contention remain between the government and the veterans, one of which is that the government wants 2011 to be the base year, while the veterans say it should be at the 2014 level, along with a 3 per cent increment every year, which the government is not agreeing to.
Besides, the government wants payment to begin from April 1, 2015 as against the agreed date of April 1, 2014.
If the date of implementation is 2014, the government will have to pay arrear of over Rs.12,000 crore.
(With inputs from agencies)