New Delhi : Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has written to the Prime Minister, sharing his concern over certain government decisions in the last few weeks adversely affecting the morale of the Armed Force. “Our soldiers risk their lives each day to defend the nation and it is our duty to show them that we care for them and their families, not only through our words, but also through our actions,” he said in a 2-page letter. The letter comes a few days after Modi started a campaign #Sandesh2Soldiers to invite people to send letters and messages to the armed forces on Diwali.

  He said far from reassuring the soldiers, the government is taking decisions that have indeed caused them pain and hurt.  The issues Rahul picked up in his letter include the new slab system of disability pension that drastically reduced the pension received by brave men in case of a disability, downgrading of the status of the military officers as compared to their civilian counterparts and the 7th Pay Commission rollout increasing disparity between the defence personnel and the civilian employees.

  He said even “One Rank, One Pension (OROP)” as implemented by the government does not fully meet the genuine demands of the ex-servicemen, forcing them to come out on streets to make their voice heard. Rahul said that the roll out of 7th Pay Commission continues to keep the defence forces at a disadvantage and further exacerbates the disparity between them and civil employees.

“As we celebrate Diwali, and rejoice in the victory of light over darkness, let us send this message to our soldiers that our gratitude is expressed both in words and indeed. This is the very least we owe to those who give up their today to secure our tomorrow,” the letter further said.