The United Ex-Servicemen of India, an umbrella group formed by the veterans, said protesters will on Monday launch a relay hunger strike to push for OROP . The veterans will also submit a petition regarding their demand to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Their demonstration in Delhi on Sunday also saw participation by some farmer groups, with the groups finding common ground in the slogan `Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan'. A few students of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University joined in as well.
The demand for OROP is expected to benefit 25 lakh ex-servicemen and their widows.Under OROP , all retired personnel of a given rank with equal experience will draw the same pension, irrespective of the year of retirement. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar, in Jaipur on Sunday , sought to assuage their concerns by urging patience, saying the government will keep its promise. “I assure you whatever we have promised, all that will be done... “ he said.
But Major General Satbir Singh (Retired), vice-chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said the protests will continue till OROP is implemented. In a letter to the PM, Singh added, “Your voice is still echoing in our mind when you roared in ex-servicemen rally in Rewari... and declared that had there been BJP government in 2004, OROP would have been reality by now.“
Singh said retired military personnel “all over India... voted for Mr Modi. Consequently BJP received an unprecedented mandate“.