New Delhi: Protesting ex-servicemen today hit back at Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his comments that not all demands could be fulfilled saying they only have “one demand” of One- Rank-One-Pension (OROP) and that they will intensify the agitation by returning their medals from tomorrow. “We have one and only demand and that is OROP. It was the government who inserted provisions that has made the issue complicated. We want OROP as per the definition. No junior should get more pension than his senior.
“In protest against the government notification, we will start returning our medals from tomorrow. And November 10-11, ex-servicemen across the country will start returning their medals. They have already informed the District Magistrates about this,” Group Captain V K Gandhi (retd), who is the general secretary of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM), said.
Gandhi said in Delhi the medals will be returned outside Terminal 1 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) tomorrow. He said the move to select crowded places was to educate the common man about the impending issue. The protesting ex-servicemen also met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
They said Kejriwal had asked them to brief him about the government notification on OROP. “He called us today and asked us to brief him about the government notification. He has said in coming days he will take up the issue, address press conference and also visit the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar,” Gandhi, who met Kejriwal added.
Parrikar today said that everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled. Underlining that the “maximum” demands of the veterans have been fulfilled, he said the judicial commission that will be set up, will look into the “problems”.
The government had on Saturday formally notified the OROP scheme for the over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country, which was rejected by the prot sting ex-service en.