Ex-servicemen to go on strike from June 15 over 'one rank one pension'

New Delhi: The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), a leading association of retired military personnel, on Saturday has said that they would agitate and call for a hunger strike, if their demands for one-rank, one-pension are not met.

Officials of the IESM announced their plans to launch an agitation after a meeting with Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to discuss the OROP issue ended inconclusively.

Major General (retired) Satbir Singh, who is the vice-chairman of IESM, said that their meeting with the Defence Minister was inconclusive. He said they will hold a rally at the Jantar Mantar from June 14 and will begin the hunger strike from June 15.

"The Chief of Army staff had told us to meet the Defence Minister before holding a meeting. We, the members of Indian Ex-servicemen movement (IESM), met the Defence Minister. He told us that the ministry is working on it (OROP). We will meet him again, once it is finalized and the date is given to us, we will inform the rest, Major General (retired) Singh said.

"If it does not happen, then we will begin an agitation from June 14, we will hold a rally at Jantar Mantar. We will begin a hunger strike from 15th onwards," he added.

Defence expert Lieutenant General (retired) Raj Kadyan on Saturday said the one-rank, one-pension (OROP) scheme which has been long pending would be resolved soon.

The Prime Minister is committed, we have no doubt it will come. Now, it is stuck because somebody is trying to play around with the definition which we had worked out after careful thought. It was very simple, only two parameters were to be taken into account, rank and total service, Lieutenant General (retired) Kadyan said.

If you inject anything else which will be neither fair nor will it be easy to implement. So, we are going to sit with the people who have worked it out. Let us see how it is resolved. I have great confidence that we will be able to resolve it, he added.

The NDA Government at the Centre has drawn flak from various political parties, especially from the Congress, over the delay in implementing the OROP scheme.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation in his eighth edition of the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, had assured ex-servicemen that his government would soon resolve the OROP issue.

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.

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