New Delhi: High political drama unfolded on the streets of central Delhi on Wednesday as the police detained top Opposition leaders trying to meet the family of an ex-serviceman who committed suicide seeking uniform pension for retired military personnel.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was detained twice in the day, while Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia were also held back, reigniting a political row over the controversial one-rank-one-pension (Orop) scheme.
Ram Kishan Grewal, 70, consumed poison in the lawns next to Rajpath after he failed to deliver a petition to defence minister Manohar Parrikar, prompting opposition politicians to reach a city hospital to meet the deceased’s family members who were allegedly roughed up by the police.
News channels showed Mr Gandhi rebuking the police. “Have you no shame,” he asked, wanting to know how they could act against the son of an Army veteran.
What is OROP?
It promises to provide equal amount of pension to army veterans retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of the date of retirement
How will it work
The pension of pensioners would be re-fixed on basis of the pension of the retirees of 2013 and the benefit would be from July 1, 2014
Rs 5,500 crore was paid as the first installment of the scheme for OROP
30 lakh army veterans are said to benefit from the scheme.
The amount will be paid in four half-yearly installments and all widows, including war widows, will be paid in one go.
The government has proposed a review OROP every five years
After prolonged protests, the Narendra Modi government approved OROP for the ex-servicemen. However, still several of the army veterans have reservations over it
The veterans wanted OROP to come to effect from April 1, 2014
The veterans want an annual review
Veterans oppose Centre’s proposal to exclude soldiers who have taken “voluntary retirement” from the scheme
Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 crore is the estimated cost to exchequer which is expected to increase in future...