New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) The Congress on Saturday accused the government of 'betraying' the armed forces personnel on the 'One Rank, One Pension' issue and demanded that it implement the OROP in line with the UPA formula.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Congress party stands in solidarity with 30 lakh armed forces personnel and will not permit any dilution of the rights of those who serve their motherland day in and day out.
'We demand that One Rank, One Pension be given in accordance with the UPA Congress Government's order of 26th February 2014 and the BJP-Modi Government's order of 29th October 2020 seeking to completely abolish 'OROP' be withdrawn forthwith,' he told reporters.
The opposition party's reaction came on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that OROP for armed forces veterans was a historic step to ensure the well-being of soldiers as he greeted them on the fifth anniversary of his government's decision to implement the scheme.
OROP is aimed at ensuring uniform pensions for veterans retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of when they retire.
According to the government, over Rs 10,795.4 crore was distributed among 20.60 lakh ex-servicemen and their family pensioners as arrears with a yearly recurring expenditure of about Rs 7,123.38 crore.
Surjewala alleged, 'The betrayal of India's soldiers and veterans, our Army, Navy and Air Force personnel by the Modi Government stands exposed'.
'Since morning, Rakhsa Mantri Rajnath Singh Ji and Home Minister Amit Shah Ji are in top gear trying to take credit for 'One Rank, One Pension' being given, which actually has been denied to 30 lakh personnel of the Armed Forces,' he said.
He said the OROP formula was accepted by the Congress party government and an order was issued on February 26, 2014, but the Modi Government 'diluted and finished this order'.
Modi had earlier said that the UPA government was not serious about OROP and had allocated just Rs 500 crore for it when the scheme needed nearly Rs 10,000 crore.
The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has recently proposed cutting down the pension of officers opting for premature retirement. PTI SKC RT