New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury on Friday expressed solidarity with ex-servicemen seeking ‘One Rank One Pension’ — or equal pension for each rank of retired soldiers.
The CPI-M general secretary also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not meeting the ex-servicemen’s demand despite promising to do so during the Lok Sabha election campaign.
In an open letter to The United Front of Ex-Servicemen, the Communist Party of India-Marxist leader expressed “deep concern” over the indefinite relay hunger strike by former soldiers here since June 14.
“Understandably, the retirees from the armed forces have been legitimately agitating for recognition and implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’,” he said.
Saying the demand had attracted support from the entire political spectrum, he said the BJP had been more specific in making the promise in the run up to the general elections.
Yechury recalled that Modi had categorically said in March 2014 that if the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Lok Sabha battle, the ‘One Rank One Pension’ demand would be implemented within one month.
“But like so many other electoral commitments made to different democratic
sections of the society, the union government has also reneged on this question.”
Ex-servicemen want that the pension given to retired soldiers should be the same within each rank. In other words, a colonel who retired, say, 20 years ago should get the same pension which a colonel retiring now gets.