OROP stir: Veterans hopeful of breakthrough, protest continues

New Delhi: The ongoing talks between the ex-servicemen and the government on resolving the ‘One Rank One Pension’ imboglio were progressing and the veterans were hopeful of a breakthrough soon, sources said on Wednesday as the agitation continued for the 81st day.

Informed sources told IANS that there have been four meetings since Tuesday with Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Misra, Rural Affairs Minister Birender Singh, and MPs Rajeev Chandrashekhar and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari — the latter headed the parliamentary committee that brought out a report on ‘One Rank One Pension’.

“The talks are going on well. At this pace, we hope to have a breakthrough in a day or two,” a source told IANS.

The source added that pension equalisation was the point of contention presently.

While the government was ready to do the revision at an interval of five years, the veterans wanted it on a yearly basis.

On Tuesday, the 80th day of protest, Colonel Pushpender Singh (retired), who was evacuated and taken to hospital, returned to the protest site.

“Col. Pushpender is back and healthy. He has joined the fast here again,” a spokesperson from the veteran’s side told IANS.

Colonel Pushpender Singh continued the indefinite fast in hospital as well.

At present, there are eight veterans on fast at Jantar Mantar here, including Havildar Major Singh (retd) who has been adamant about not leaving the venue despite worsening health.

There are around 24 lakh ex-servicemen in India and around 6.5 lakh widows who will benefit if OROP is implemented.