Giving the government 15 days to begin discussions with them to resolve the impasse on the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP), ex-servicemen on Sunday announced that they would boycott the Republic Day celebrations on January 26 unless OROP is implemented in its rightful form.
“We will give the government 15 days to begin discussions and a notice period of another seven days beyond that. After that we will take the protest to the people. We will boycott the Republic Day celebrations and we will also request the ex-servicemen contingent that marches on Rajpath on January 26 to boycott the parade, Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh (retd), Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) said at a rally in Delhi.
Early this month, the ex-servicemen had announced that the government has agreed to appoint V.K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs to mediate between the government and veterans. However, Maj. Gen. Singh said that the government failed to adhere to that and demanded immediate action.
Maj. Gen. Singh said that the veterans would not vote for the BJP or its allies till OROP is implemented in its rightful form. “We voted for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections because of their assurance on OROP. But they have failed to honour it,” he told The Hindu.
Col. Anil Kaul (retd), media advisor, IESM, said that the notification issued by the government on November 7 is flawed and deviates from the accepted definition of OROP.
Veterans have listed seven points of deviation in the notification. The major issues of disagreement are the issue of pre-mature retirement (PMR) and pension equalisation. The notification stated that “those opting for PMR henceforth on their own accord will not be eligible for OROP”, which caused major concern among the serving community. On the equalisation, veterans have been demanding it annually as against five years proposed by the government in the spirit of the definition of OROP.