The Congress on Saturday attacked the government over the manner of implementing the ‘One Rank One Pension’, saying had it been done in accordance with the letter and spirit of the notification issued during the UPA dispensation, ”large scale anomalies” wouldn’t have crept in.
In a statement, Congress’ Ex-Servicemen Department chief Col (retd) Rohit Chaudhry said last month Rahul Gandhi drove across Ladakh on a motorcycle, meeting people from all sections of society including ex-servicemen.
”Since he had not been able to cover Ladakh during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he decided to undertake a separate journey. This is the first time a national leader has covered Ladakh so extensively, and it has sent a strong signal to the Chinese that Ladakh is an integral and inseparable part of India,” Chaudhry said.
”In a conversation with ex-servicemen, they told him (Gandhi) how wrongly OROP has been implemented, and how the Agnipath scheme is harming the safety security and integrity of the nation and also destroying the future of the youth,” he said.
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After completion of four years, Agniveers will neither get any pension nor other benefits and instead, they will again become unemployed, he claimed.
Moreover, the employability restrictions imposed on the employment of Agniveers will affect the operational effectiveness of the units and will simultaneously burden the regular soldiers, Chaudhry argued.
”Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with ESMs further amplified that OROP, which is equally applicable to all the defence veterans (officers, JCOs and Other Ranks), has not been implemented as envisaged by UPA Govt’s order of February 26, 2014, which was passed by both Houses of the Parliament,” he said.
The present form of OROP-1 and 2 is not the actual OROP conceptualised under the UPA regime, but is a ”one rank and many persons”, he said.
”Had OROP been implemented in letter and spirit of UPA’s notification, then large-scale anomalies induced in implementation wouldn’t have cropped in. While issuing orders for passing OROP-2 on 23 December 2022, under sustained pressure of Bharat Jodo Yatra which was entering Delhi, the Narendra Modi government induced further anomalies by reducing pensions of JCOS and other ranks by a few thousand per month,” he said.
Though no one has got actual OROP, whatever benefits have been passed, they are lesser for JCOS and ORS as per their legitimate right, he said.
”Passing of the reduced benefits, to JCOs and Other Ranks, is causing large-scale heartburn among junior cadres of the defence fraternity which has created a divide among cadres and is not good for the country’s defence forces,” he said.
The Congress demands from the Modi government that OROP anomalies should be corrected immediately without any further delay, Chaudhry said.
It is the central government which is causing a divide and it is the responsibility of the government to correct its ”follies”, he said.