Social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday met former Defence officials at his native village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district and discussed ways in which the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) issue could be taken up with the government.
Those who participated in the meeting were Colonel Dinesh Nain (retd) and Brigadier Kartar Singh (retd), Hazare's aide Datta Awari said. Hazare recently said the BJP-led government at the Centre had not shown as much interest towards the implementation of the OROP scheme as it has shown towards the passing of the Land Acquisition Bill, adding that the jawans retired from the Armed forces deserved to lead a dignified life.
"The current government, during the elections had said that they will implement One Rank, One Pension, but it has been more than an year, they have not done it. They have so much interest in Land Acquisition Bill, but why are they not showing similar kind of interest in OROP," Hazare had said.
"Jawans in the Army face a lot of difficulties. Whether is it desert of Rajasthan or the freezing conditions in Jammu and Kashmir, they serve the nation. They deserve to lead an honourable life after retirement. People who dedicate their lives to the nation should get the chance to spend their lives with dignity," he added.
Hazare had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to implement the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme at the earliest, failing which, he would launch a countrywide agitation for the same. In his letter, Anna said that the country must take care of its farmers and soldiers, however clarifying that his protest is not political.
The OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of ex-servicemen's associations and relates to payment of uniform pension to defence forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.