V K Singh's daughter joins OROP stir, to seek father's support

V K Singh's daughter joins OROP stir, to seek father's support

V K Singh's daughter joins OROP stir, to seek father's support

The ongoing agitation of retired soldiers demanding quick implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme received a shot in the arm on Sunday when Mirnalini Singh, the daughter of the Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, joined the protest.

Singh, who took over as minister last year, is also a former Army chief. “I have come straight from Hisar in Haryana because I feel for the cause. This is a just cause that is pending for many years. A few years down the line, I will also become the wife of an ex-serviceman,” said Mrinalini, also the wife of a serving Army officer.

She said neither did she speak to her father before joining the protest nor did she need his permission. However, she referred to a letter the former Army chief had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about two months ago seeking the scheme’s early implementation.

‘My father wrote to PM’

“Even my grandfather was a soldier and may be my son will also become one. I hope the government will soon heed to this demand. It is long overdue. I did take up the issue with my father. He has written a letter to the prime minister,” she said.

Asked whether her father should also join the protest, Mrinalini said: “I am going to meet him. I will definitely ask him to come and join the protest.”

The veterans are agitating seeking OROP since June and three ex-servicemen are on a hunger strike since August 15. The three major demands are no dilution in the definition of OROP, its date of implementation (April 1, 2014) and sticking to 2013-14 as the base year for calculating pension.

The retired soldiers have also sought an appointment with the PM to place their demand personally.

However, it is not clear if Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar could meet the prime minister on Sunday, which he had promised to a group of ex-servicemen last week.

Parrikar travelled to Leh on Sunday where he met some of the senior Army officers and attended an event of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) during which the DRDO’s Defence Institute for High Altitude Research transferred the technology to make sea buckthorn-based products to Patanjali Trust of yoga guru Ramdev.