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Saturday, May 30, 2015
Implement OROP or resign, don't run from promises: Bajwa tells Modi
Chandigarh, May 30, 2015 (Yes Punjab News)
The Punjab Congress President, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, today accused the PM Mr Narendra Modi of running away from implementing the decision of One-Rank-One-Pension by the UPA government and asked him to resign in case his government was incapable of its taking it to logical conclusion.
In a statement, he said it was in February 2014 that the UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh accepted the demand without any dilution in terms of definition and Rs 500 crores was allocated to cover the enhanced outlay on defence pensions in the interim budget presented by the finance minister, Mr P. Chidambaram. Shortly thereafter change of government took place. The new regime led by Mr. Narendra Modi was only to implement the decision with all definitions and modalities having been worked out by the previous one.
He said instead they opened up the entire issue by even going so far as to question its very definition. The demand was also watered down with the present defence minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar talking in terms of providing only ’80 per cent satisfaction since 100 per cent is not possible in life’. The comment about the genuine and long-pending demands of those who shed their blood for the country was nothing but shocking.
He charged the Modi government of putting the issue on burner with changing priorities. The defence minister’s statements started becoming evasive in nature. He seemed to be looking for an escape route from having to implement OROP. However the Congress and ex-servicemen’s organizations persevered and the process restarted. Mr. Parikkar started giving different deadlines for issuing the implementation letter which the government would invariably miss. Finally the file was cleared by the defence ministry. Or so it was claimed. However pressure worked and the proposal was sent to the finance ministry. Now Mr. Parrikar started talking in terms of getting final approval from the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs forgetting that the demand, its definition and scope had been included in two Union Budgets and ratified by parliament. This government’s job was only to implement the approved demand which they seemed utterly incapable of doing. Or was there unwillingness on the part of Mr. Modi and his govt to give the defenders of our freedom their due?
He said the file was now shuttling between the defence and finance ministries with no clarity whatsoever on what is happening or intended. It appears that the government is not serious in implementing the demand.
Mr Bajwa recalled that Mr. Modi in his first rally after being anointed the BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate at Rewari in September 2013 had before an audience of ex-servicemen announced that were his party to be elected to office, the first priority would be to accept OROP and implement it. Again, while his defence minister dithered, Mr. Modi announced on Diwali day on October 2014 at Siachen while addressing serving soldiers that his government had implemented OROP. This was nothing but travesty of truth.
He said Mr Modi, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr Parikkar should stop beating about the bush and announcing unrealistic deadlines and implement OROP forthwith or step down from their posts. Veterans had suffered enough. They cannot be made to endure more.
The PPCC chief demanded implement of OROP immediately without dilution or delay. This nation’s duty towards the brave sentinels of our borders demands no less, he added.