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OROP: Former defence minister AK Antony accuses govt of betraying ex-servicemen

New Delhi: Former Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday attacked Narendra Modi government accusing it of "betraying" war veterans and dubbing the notification on one-rank-one-pension as a "Diwali shock" for them.

"It’s not a Diwali gift. It is a Diwali shock," said Antony adding "this order is a vast dilution of UPA’s order."

 OROP: Former defence minister AK Antony accuses govt of betraying ex-servicemen

AK Antony. AFP

"I feel that by issuing this order, this government has gone back on its solemn commitment to Indian soldiers. This is not one Rank one pension; It is one rank five pension", he said reacting to the notification on OROP issued last week.

Noting that the order says the soldiers who retire voluntarily after 15 years of service won’t get one rank one pension, he said "this will affect our policy to maintain an ever youthful force."

"If we follow the new policy, our armed forces would become one of the oldest in the world", Antony said alleging that by "going back" from its commitment, the government has "betrayed" the soldiers and ex-servicemen. "It will affect their morale".

He said the order issued by UPA government on 24th April, 2014 itself has clarified the definition of OROP. "One rank one pension means those soldiers who retire of same rank, with same length of service will get same pension, irrespective of the date on which they retire".

Besides, UPA government had also included that all future enhancement will be automatically passed on to ex-service men also. "So it was clear, if one retires today or five years back will get the same pension. But the new order is against it", he pointed out.

The veterans who are on the path of agitation against the notification have a point to raise, he said adding that government has "gone back "from the promise made to them. "Because of that they are disappointed. So, naturally they will agitate."

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 10, 2015 20:47:25 IST