Sunday, July 27, 2014

BJP Pays for the Great Betrayal - Major General Mrinal Suman

Results of three bye-elections in Uttarakhand are out and BJP has been trounced, with Congress bagging all the three seats. It has taken less than 60 days for Modi euphoria to disappear. A buoyed and rejuvenated Congress must be thanking BJP for its failure to deliver. Inapt handling of the issue of OROP is symptomatic of the poor performance.
After the budget speech of 10 July, it became apparent that the NDA government had succumbed to the pressure of the bureaucrats and diluted the concept of OROP. To almost all soldiers, both serving and retired, it was a breach of faith – a promise broken and a Great Betrayal.
Next day, on 11 July, I had written the following comments which have proved highly prophetic:-
“Reaction of ex-servicemen to the budget speech varies from a sense of betrayal to outright disgust with BJP. Sample some of the comments making rounds on the social media – ‘an allocation of Rs 1000 crore is nothing but a cruel joke’, ‘we have been taken for a ride by false promises’, ‘let all ex-servicemen take a vow to teach BJP a lesson by voting against it henceforth’, ‘state assemblies that go to polls shortly should be used to deliver a shock to the ungrateful party’ and ‘even a Kejriwal would have been more indebted for the support we extended’.
As regards BJP, rarely has one seen such a shortsighted leadership – in a short period of six weeks it has frittered away all the goodwill and support that it had garnered by assiduously cultivating the soldiers and ex-soldiers. It forgot that it owed its electoral victory in no small measure to the en-block support extended by 50 lakh strong military community and their family members.
Even the die-hard opponents of BJP had never expected such a short honeymoon. Breach of faith is as ruinous to any relationship as infidelity to a marriage. Thus, a divorce is now inevitable. BJP is certainly going to rue its ill-advised act of taking ex-servicemen for granted and reneging on its promise.”
For soldiers OROP has come to represent honoring of solemn promises. It is no more a question of money. It has become a matter of honour. It hurts to be misled and taken for a ride. Unfortunately, BJP has failed to appreciate the sensitivities of the soldiers. Smug in its unexpected victory, it has become arrogant in handling them. How else can one interpret the advice given by Defence Minister Jetley to ex-servicemen to lower their expectations? Would he have dared to say so before the elections? Modi promised OROP and not sham-OROP.
For soldiers, national interests are supreme. It would have been far better for the government to state – “We accept the established definition of OROP but are tight on finances at present. We will implement it for JCOs and OR immediately with the available resources. Give us some time to implement it for the officers.” Most soldiers would have accepted the suggestion. But then, grace and compassion are not the qualities that one generally associates with the politicians.
Most observers feel that Modi erred by appointing Jetley as the Defence Minister for two reasons. One, with the load of Finance Ministry, he has little time to devote to the Defence Ministry. He cannot study matters in depth and has to give decisions on the details put up by the bureaucrats. Resultantly, bureaucrats are running the show. Two, Jetley has been a part of the ‘Delhi Durbar’ for far too long. It is unfair to expect him to pull himself out of the bureaucratic quagmire and take bold decisions.
According to the reports, all soldiers and their families voted for Congress in the recent bye-polls in Uttarakhand. BJP and Modi should see the writing on the wall. They must realise that they are shooting in their own foot by losing the backing of the solid support base of soldiers and ex-servicemen. Time is fast running out. Elections to Haryana, and may be Delhi, are due shortly. One will not be surprised if BJP loses in all assembly segments of Ghaziabad which elected General VK Singh with over 5.67 lakh votes. Disillusionment with BJP is spreading rapidly amongst the soldiers and the veterans.

(Source-Sanjha Morcha blog)


  1. All Political parties are same that head and tale of coin no difference but I wish to say that the most hand for non welfare to Ex Serviceman and Service personnel including disabled community is Bureaucrat/IAS/IDAS Dogs(Using Dog is shameful to Dogs as Dogs have faith with their owner but Bureaucrat Dogs do not have faith either with Minister or with Nation)

  2. A well written analysis. Election Manifesto is non negotiable. The BJP would have done their home work with the financial implications prior to the election promise. Based on the promise the serving and Ex service men have voted the BJP. Now after forming government they are telling us not to expect much. BJP should learn from AP CM Chandrababu Naidu which ever welfare schemes he announced in the Election those are in place in the first week of government formation.

  3. Winning of three seats by the congress in Uttrakhand has nothing to do with the OROP issue, as I live in Uttarakhand and am aware of the ground realities. It is necessary to have some patience with the Modi government which will deliver.

  4. It is disappointing that my comments were not published. In the true tradition the dissent or opposing view is not published. It is time to change to understand the true picture.

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