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MP takes exception on Rahul's visit to hospital disturbing patients

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 15, 2018

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, has pooh-poohed Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi calling on the relatives of veteran Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal, who committed suicide against the delay in implementing One Rank One Pension (OROP).

In an open letter to Gandhi, he said that visiting a hospital full of patients and shouting slogans was not the way to show concern for veterans.

According to Chandrasekhar, he had raised the demand for OROP since he stepped into Parliament in 2006. It was during the terms of Congress led UPA-1 and UPA -2 that he wrote several letters to and had several meetings on the matter with the then Prime Minister, Defence Minister, UPA Chairperson urging implementation of the long pending OROP. All of them were met with either a “can’t do it” or a stony silence.

Chandrasekhar further stated that he had written to Rahul Gandhi on OROP and other armed forces related issues way back in 2011, but neither did the INC Vice Chairman reply to it or took any action.

“It was then I wrote to you in February 2014 where I lauded your belated interest, reminding you of how belated it was with a list of all my letters written to then Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Congress Chairperson and yourself requesting you to address the serious issue and prevent further alienation and disenchantment in the veteran community. Even when the OROP was hurriedly announced by your Government prior to elections, adding insult to injury was your Finance Minister allocating a mere ₹500 crore – a cruel joke which would not have been enough for enhanced pensions for even 10 per cent of the veterans” his letter said.

Lauding the Centre, Chandrasekhar pointed out that it took the present Government, despite serious objections from the Finance Ministry about the fiscal implications, to announce and implement OROP -- costing almost ₹8300 crore per annum and a onetime cost of more than ₹20,000 crore – correcting a four-decade old injustice perpetrated on our veterans.

According to him, there are some pending complex issues in OROP including some fundamental issues to ensure consistency with the definition of One Rank, One Pension. These were referred to the One Man Judicial Committee set up to look after these anomalies. This committee has only recently submitted its report and the government should look to them.

Published on November 06, 2016

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