Congress leader and former Defence Minister A K Antony today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of going back on his commitment on 'One Rank, One Pension'.
He said the previous Congress-led UPA government had already accepted the 'One Rank, One Pension" (OROP) for ex-servicemen and decided to implement it from April 1, 2014 and the Prime Minister was now saying that "we are accepting it in principle".
"In the budget of February 2014, UPA government announced that it is accepting OROP and it will be implemented on April 1, 2014 onwards with retrospective effect. Our government announced OROP and we took all the decisions to implement it. It was a question of completing certain formalities for calculating individual pension.
"After 15 months, no less than the person like the Prime Minister saying we are accepting it in principle. It is going back. It is a total disappointment for the ex-servicemen community," he said reacting to the Prime Minister's comments on OROP.
In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not commit a specific timeline for implementation of 'One Rank One Pension' but stressed that talks were in the final stages, drawing sharp reactions from ex-servicemen who vowed to step up their protest.
"Every government has given small promises but the issue has not been resolved. Even after I came, I have not been able to do it till now. Today, I am assuring my soldiers once again... in-principle OROP has been accepted by us but talks with stakeholders are on," he said.
The ex-servicemen community have been on a protest seeking early implementation of OROP.