Free Press Journal

Withdraw draconian clause in OROP as Diwali gift: Congress


New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrating Diwali with troops, Congress today made a strong pitch for a festive gift by announcing removal of the “draconian” clause in the ‘one rank-one-pension’ scheme that has denied pension to a large number of ex-servicemen. “Please show grace of a true leader. Give the soldiers a Diwali gift by ensuring that the draconian clause is withdrawn,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

Noting that it is a matter of joy that the Prime Minister is spending the Diwali with troops on the border, he said, what is “unfortunate” is that the government has come out with an order on November 7 that has adversely affected the premature retirees.

This is a grave problem given the fact that 25 per cent of soldiers take premature retirement after 15 years of service while 40 per cent of officers after 20 years of service, he said. On the spree of economic reform measures announced by the government, Surjewala said that it is better late than never that government has embarked on the exercise after the “jolt” in the Bihar polls.

He said that the fresh steps to usher in foreign direct investment in various sectors was a “welcome step”. At the same time, he wanted the government to ensure that the sudden move to open up the economy does not adversely affect the local business and industry.

He also took a dig at the Prime Minister noting that three years back when the then UPA government was going in for FDI in retail and wholesale, he was sharply critical of the move. Former Defence Minister A K Antony had yesterday attacked the Centre, accusing it of “betraying” war veterans and dubbing the notification on one-rank-one-pension as a “Diwali shock” for them.