New Delhi: Upset over delay in formal notification of the one rank, one pension scheme, the protesting ex-servicemen on Friday announced that they will return their medals across the country next week.
"The government has delayed the notification of OROP under the pretext of Model Code of Conduct in place due to Bihar polls. We fear that the notification will not take into account our demand for which we have been on protest over the last 145 days at Jantar Mantar and across the country," Gp Capt (retd) V K Gandhi, general secretary of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement said.
He added that they will also scale up the protest next week. As per the plan, Gandhi said that the veterans will hand over their medals to the district magistrates across the country on November 9 and 10. He said that if they don't accept the medals, they will be left in their offices which can be later sent to either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or President Pranab Mukherjee.
"Time is over for the government to shift the goalpost," said Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement. The government is expected to come out with a formal notification next week once the model code ends on November 12.
Questioning the delay, Gandhi said that the model code is applicable only on new schemes. "OROP has been sanctioned by Parliament. Hence, using the pretest of model code is wrong," he said.
Though the government had announced OROP scheme on September 5, a section of the veterans had continued their protest citing seven lacunae, including annual equalisation, 2013-14 as the base year among others.