New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday met former servicemen protesting the notification on ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) and said the Centre “cheated” the armed force veterans by announcing a “diluted” scheme.
“The union government has cheated the army veterans by implementing a diluted OROP scheme,” Kejriwal said.
Supporting the ongoing protest of ex-servicemen, the chief minister demanded reconsideration of the changes made by the government in the implementation of the scheme.
Kejriwal said the scheme should be implemented in its original form as demanded by the veteran servicemen.
“It is unfortunate that the ex-servicemen are out on the streets for their rights. The central government should implement the OROP in its true spirit,” he said.
After meeting the aggrieved veterans, Kejriwal tweeted: “Met army veterans at Jantar Mantar. All their demands are logical. Government has been unjust to them. Centre should immediately accept their demands.”
Aam Aadmi Party legislator from Chandni Chowk Alka Lamba, Delhi Cantonment legislator Surender Singh, Bijwasan MLA Devendra Sekhawat and party leader Raghav Chaddha also expressed solidarity with the ex-servicemen.
Meanwhile, the ex-servicemen protesting at the Jantar Mantar in central Delhi said they would continue with their agitation as they were fighting for their rights. They said the armed forces veterans would not accept a “diluted” OROP scheme.
Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh (retd), spearheading the Indian ex-servicemen’s movement on the issue, said: “We are happy that (the) Delhi CM is here to support us in our fight. We reject government’s notification on OROP. We will not accept this diluted OROP scheme.”
The veterans have decided to intensify their agitation that continued for the 152th day on Friday. Earlier this week, they returned their medals to register their protest against the government notification on OROP.
The veterans listed seven contentious changes made by the government, including annual equalisation, 2013-14 as the base year for calculating pension, and taking the highest pension scale of 2013 as the base for calculation of pension.
As per the government notification, the OROP scheme would be reviewed once in five years and not annually. According to Singh, the government was offering “One Rank, Five Pensions”.